• Tony Richards

Leaders Share Their Inspiration

It’s really sad. Many people do not look forward to going to work or doing what they do. It’s estimated at least one-third of the current workforce are actively looking for another job. That means the walking dead could possibly be among you. The walking dead are those employees who are showing up to your business and going through the motions looking for greener pastures across the way somewhere over the rainbow. What they don’t realize is there are just as many bluebird droppings over there than there are in your location.

Augustus McRae had it right. In the movie Lonesome Dove, Lori yearns for a better life in the dream state of California. Her friend, lover and protector, McRae gives her his valuable wisdom when he says, “Lori, darlin. Life in California is still just life”. Exactly. The only difference between one place and another is how we see it, what we do with it and why we feel that way about it.

Enthusiasm is huge. I believe a major reason employees may not be inspired and happy is the leader is not those things. You cannot inspire unless you are inspired. Every leader who is inspired by something is exceedingly enthusiastic. They think about the organization all day and every day with a desire to mold it, shape it and build it.

Steve Jobs was not enthusiastic about computers. No, from day one, he was enthusiastic and driven for Apple. That is clarity. He was passionate about what building Apple could do for people. He envisioned customers using Apple’s products, how easy it would be and how much they would love them. His energy and enthusiasm was envied in business. He was not loved by all his employees. Possibly because they did not share his level of enthusiasm for the company and the product. Did he make mistakes? Sure he did. At the same time, no one misinterpreted his inspiration for what he saw as the future for the business and the customer.

Stories are important. Leaders who are inspired are always revising and clarifying the story of their organization. They understand it has a past, present and future. Inspired leaders create the future scenario consistently, always making it better, then walking back to the present to communicate and execute. People do not care about growing the company 10% in the next year. They care about why that is important and how it fits the storyline of the company. At the beginning of every basketball season, Coach John Wooden would teach players how to put on their socks and tie their shoes, but he also told them how this would help them have a winning season.

Inspired leaders share. If you are energized about what you and your company are doing, you won’t be able to hold back on sharing it. You will talk about it. You will want to share what is important to you. Inspired leaders invite participation from their employees and accept ongoing feedback from them about how things are going. Who knows better than those on the front lines, anyway?

Focusing Thoughts:

  1. Are you inspired about what you do or the product or service you provide? Why or why not? Were you at one time? If so, what happened?

  2. Enthusiasm is contagious. Are you spreading the virus? If anyone was around you, would they catch what you have?

  3. What part of what you or your business do every day that ignites you?

  4. What story do you tell yourself every day about your business? What story do you tell others?

  5. How long has it been since you have shared your story of future success with anyone, employee or otherwise?

What else can you add? Looking forward to your thoughts!

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