You might be able to succeed as a “lone wolf,” but scaling your business will be nearly impossible. It’s imperative to bring together a team to support your mission, whatever it is. When you have the right team in place, the next step is to inspire (not motivate) that team.
I firmly believe that motivation is only a short-term fix. Inspiration is what carries us over the long term, connected to what is driving us to pursue our potential.
Think about it. You can be motivated to do pretty much anything for one day, whether it is sending email invites to an event or spending time with your in-laws.
Inspiration is the difference maker when it comes to maximizing your potential. Metaphorically speaking, motivation is skin deep; inspiration gets down to the marrow of the bone — it gets into your cells.
Being inspired at the beginning of something is easy. Being inspired at the end of something, after you’re successful, is easy.
Staying inspired every single day along the way is the challenge.
Be of service for inspiration.
The best leaders also tend to be the biggest givers. Shift the paradigm of value, stop worrying so much about what you’re going to get in return and start concerning yourself with what you’re giving. When your team knows that you go the extra mile to be extraordinary for them, they will go the extra mile in return. When you are being of service to others, your team can’t help but feel your glory.
Be available to help, and, just as importantly, effectively communicate when you’re not available to help.
Give unconditionally to others. Remember, if you’re giving with the intention of getting something back, it’s not giving, it’s trading. And trading carries a much different energy than giving. Trading won’t inspire anybody. Unconditional giving is what inspires everyone, whether you give of yourself, your money, your time or something else of value.
Lead by example.
As a leader, it’s important to set an inspirational example. Don’t just tell your team how to give — show them.
If you’re passionate about a cause (and readily give to it), show your team and give them an opportunity to participate. Let your team experience your giving attitude. Leaders who talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk, are more hypocritical and irritating than inspirational. You will lose all credibility if you can’t keep your word.
Make sure to call attention to others who demonstrate the spirit of excellence, too, recognizing them for the examples they set.
To demonstrate good and bad examples, it is sometimes necessary to reward things backwards. I like to give bonuses to people in my office who screw up — that is, providing they are honest and accountable about it. In my office, the truth absolutely does set you free.
Be a shining example by giving your money, time or energy to those people who are a part of your collective belief.
Share collective inspiration.
There is nothing that brings a team together like having a shared mission or a collective belief. One of my favorite studies about the power of collective belief revolves around meditation and crime rates. A range of towns were studied, comparing those with a higher proportion of transcendental meditators to those without. Cities with large groups of people meditating for peace saw a decrease in crime rate by 24 percent, compared to those cities without a collective belief for peace, which saw an increase in crime.
Just like the cities with a common desire for peace, your team will be inspired when they are all aligned with a shared objective. Having a shared mission, a clear goal to pursue with their potential, along with shared values with which to accomplish the goal, brings a team together in a powerful way.
A team that is united has one like-mind and a united energy where everyone empathetically feels aligned, are accountable and effectively communicate to others.
Encourage others to be themselves.
While it is important to bring individuals into a collective, you must also recognize what makes your team members unique.
The most inspired team members are those who are given projects that best suit their skill sets and are encouraged to grow by those around them. Be honest in your feedback, provide constructive criticism and show your team members a path to improvement.
Giving team members a little leeway on occasion is important, as well. Offer your staff time out of the day to take a walk or meditate to clear their minds. Or have a plan in place that allows for time off to complete philanthropic or community service programs.
Inspiration is the culmination of these four strategies, which unite your team with purpose and passion: being of service, leading by example, bringing people into alignment and recognizing their individuality. This is what instills an energy of inspiration in your team.
Set the inspiring example for your team to follow and make sure you are carrying an energy of abundance. Everything else will fall into place.