What's the best way to inspire?

chalkboard inspire

As an entrepreneur or business leader, what’s the best way to motivate and inspire others to follow you in your journey?

I’ve often been fascinated with the idea of how best to motivate people. When I was running my PR firm, I’m not sure I knew how best to do it. Since I never worked for anyone, I didn’t really have any references on how to do this. So, I just figured I would do the things that I would want to see if I worked for myself.

I guess you could say that I tried to lead by example. I worked my ass off. I was the first in and the last to leave every single day. I literally cleaned people’s offices to show them that I was not above doing anything. And, when I achieved individual success, I deflected it both in public and in private. I gave credit to all of the others and showed the power of teamwork. When I got my first nice car, I parked it ridiculously far away from the building so no one could see it :)

So, guess what happened? Nothing! I had just as high turnover as those that really were big time assholes to their employees :(

I also observed my clients and how they led. Some were indeed assholes. Screaming like a wildman. Or, they were constantly showing off their latest prized possessions and monuments to their own egos. My favorite was always the preferred parking spot for the bosses with the sign that said "only so and so is worthy of this spot". Priceless.

And that didn’t seem to be working either…

It wasn’t until I entered the tech field with my new company The News Funnel that I learned some really important things about leadership. I saw how great companies were led by great leaders who inspired them and how they were all working towards a singular goal. Money was rarely, if ever, that goal.

So, it changed my leadership style. With my small team, we all talk about how we want to impact the lives of those we are building products for. Not that we want to get rich on them, but we want to help them in their daily lives. We as a team are passionate about sharing success stories with one another that reflect this goal, and we measure ourselves based on that alone!

I watched this great TED Talk the other day and it was spot on. It’s a hugely powerful lesson on leadership and also on how to inspire others to follow your own dream and vision. It’s really worth watching, and if that gets you hungry for more, I would recommend checking out another great speech by Simon Sinek as well. So, I’ll just leave you with that. Enjoy...