Thursday, November 12, 2009

Inspiration versus motivation versus perspiration.

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." Nelson Mandela

Great leaders, and Nelson Mandela falls into this category, understand that when an individual understands with their head, they must be continually motivated to behave in the manner the leader wants. This person requires constant motivation to think, feel and act in the right way. Whereas if you reach the heart, an individual’s actions come from a place of inspiration, from within and inspiration does not require motivation. A true leader understands this and when a group of inspired people operate from the right level within a company, growth, creativity, maximum efficiency, peak performance, superb customer service, and so on-and-so forth become instinctive - become the personality of the company and running an organization like this becomes easier, less stressful, less challenging, and just plain fun.

Motivation is an overused tactic that we have grown too accustomed to using in our world, I guess because it is an easy tactic to implement, it is measurable, its’ cost is quantifiable, it’s ROI is calculable and the results are predictable.

But motivation comes from an exterior trigger -through reward, or recognition, or even fear, or penalty. People will be motivated and behave appropriately; however, motivation only succeeds in accomplishing what you asked for. People will do no more. And motivation requires continual promotion and even continual change and improvement – more – more - more. What motivates today will not work tomorrow. If it was $5 today, will it be $7.50 tomorrow and $10 the next day.

Inspiration requires no improvement. Inspiration requires no motivation. You are inspired – period – or not. When people are inspired they work with intention and a sense of “purpose” where actions are positive, people are passionate, creative and driven and this energy is contagious. Their intention is inclusive, caring, sharing and empowering. There is no place for competition, politics, greed, ego or any fear-based feelings and behaviours that push people away and compromise success.

People that are inspired are open, authentic, respectful, sharing and cooperate as a group for the attainment of their mutual goals.

A company with inspired people attracts other good people, attracts good customers or clients and attracts vendors that work to help instead of just delivering a product.

And that old saying that success comes from inspiration, motivation and perspiration? Inspired people require less perspiration because quite frankly the work from inspired people doesn’t feel like work to them.

If you look at companies with the fastest growth, and the strength to maintain their position indefinitely, you often will find a company with a team of inspired executives and a culture that supports this.

Google is one example that many hold up as a model culture for today’s progressive companies. lululemon, MacDonald’s back in the Ray Kroc days, Richard Branson who believes in creating companies that fill a need, hiring good people to run them and then letting them run them. General Electric under Jack Welch; Steve Jobs at Apple; John Chambers at Cisco; Steve Ballmer at Microsoft.

Inspiration begets inspired creative thinking, begets passionate purposeful action begets brilliant innovation begets large leaps in progress – and it’s a circle that just keeps going.

You know when you are in the presence of inspiration. If you have ever had the pleasure of walking into a church that was designed and built in the 1400’s, 1500’s or 1600’s you can sense, see and feel inspiration. The same can be said with poetry, writing, music, a great painting and, of course great people who are inspired and aligned with their higher self. It’s genuine and you just know it.

I had a few of you comment on a group of Norwegian lads that sang in a blog I posted a few months ago. Here is a song from them with an arrangement that is truly inspired. It is a well-known U2 song but after you listen, you will hopefully agree with me. They are inspired. They have made it their own song.

Turn up the speakers, sit back, let go of the stresses of the day, relax and enjoy.

Have a great, glorious and inspired day.