How to Inspire Others

Two Year Anniversary of Blog

Two years ago I launched the blog with the express purpose of exploring aspects of inspirational leadership. Nearly 90 postings later my mission is still to inspire leaders in all cultures to inspire others.

So what does it take for you to be an inspirational person? Is it your personality? Are extroverts more inspirational than introverts?

The simple answer is be inspired yourself and know what inspires others.

In the book written with Kristine MacKain, Ph.D “What Inspirational Leaders Do” (Kindle 2008)  we explore five basic needs that must be satisfied for people to become fired up in order to commit themselves to a compelling idea or course of action.

The needs we have identified have arisen out of our work in coaching and developing  leaders all over the world. Over the last two decades, we often began our first contact with a client by asking, “What inspires you?” The answers to this question were compelling in that they typically reflected a person’s deeply held values or needs. We subsequently analyzed and grouped these needs into five categories that we call The Five Sources of Inspiration.

These sources reflect specific needs that, when met, can release powerful inspirational forces in any person.

The Five Sources of Inspiration

The need to:

1. Make a contribution to benefit individuals or the world-at-large. (Contribution)

2. Work in alignment with one’s highest values. (Character)

3. Engage one’s creative potential, to imagine a better way. (Imagination)

4. Be emotionally engaged with others in deep and genuine ways . (Empathy)

5. Be acknowledged and affirmed for one’s unique talents and strengths, and engage those skills in meeting work challenges. (Expecting the Best)

Once engaged, these needs drive individuals and teams to perform and produce at levels they previously may not have thought possible.

A leader’s first step in inspiring others is to identify which source(s) of inspiration drive a particular individual and then appeal to that source.

In closing, we leave you with the words of Patanjali, an Indian sage and

mystic from 3 B.C., who we think captured the experience of inspiration

beautifully when he said:

When you are inspired by some great purpose,

some extraordinary project,

all your thoughts break their bonds;

Your mind transcends limitations,

Your consciousness expands in every direction,

And you find yourself in a new, great

And wonderful world.

Dormant forces, faculties, and talents

Become alive, and you discover yourself

To be a greater person by far

Than you ever dreamed

Yourself to be.

Do you know your own sources of inspiration?

Do you grasp inspirational sources in others?

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About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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