Achieve Your Company Goals Through Enspiration
When inspiration isn't enough.
-- Peter Pan enspiring Wendy to go to Neverland
One key difference between lousy leaders and good ones is the ability to motivate or inspire people. But these days, that ability, rare as it is, simply isn't enough. Given the skeptical and cynical times we live in -- and despite a widespread hunger to feel motivated and inspired -- people often respond with reluctance or opposition.
Why? If you look at the concepts of "motivation" and "inspiration" through the lens of emotional intelligence, you begin to understand why neither has lasting power for the people they're meant to energize and activate.
To motivate is to pump people up (or from a cynical point of view, puff people up). It aims people toward a goal (usually the CEO's) and then fires them toward it like a rifle shot.
Too often, the people listening don't have the courage (or compensation package) of the leader who's doing the pumping and aiming. When the pump is away, the people deflate.
After such calls to action, I've heard people inside a company -- who lack job security and have to work harder for fewer benefits -- essentially say to each other, "That's easy for him to say. He just got a raise, while we're having our jobs cut. You know, he should save his 'selling' for our customers. He should know better than to think he can sell us insiders." Too many people are too far down and too weary to buy into being pumped up momentarily.
More people need to be lifted up than pumped up. This is what inspiration does. Whereas motivation seeks to mobilize you by telling you to take action, inspiration accounts for the notion that if you're too wounded you may need some compassion and healing before you get back on your feet.
That compassion is not wasted. It feels good to be understood -- to have others know that sometimes you're not being lazy; sometimes you're too hurt to do anything other than lick your wounds after a truck has hit you.
But as with motivation, inspiration, although more satisfying to the spirit, can also fall short of helping people reach a goal. Too often, inspiration lifts you up but doesn't give you specific steps to take. So you're left feeling better, but still just as lost about what to do next.
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