I am often told that I inspire others with what I do. But what does that mean?
Sometimes I honestly don’t know why this is the case; as I feel that I am just doing what I do on a daily basis the very best I can. But, maybe that in itself is the key: I am being honest, working hard, and just doing what I do the best way I know how.
But, why do I inspire people?
I am not really sure. I can only guess. I’ll probably have to create a poll to find out why for certain, but it seems that I am doing what others see as worthy. Perhaps my efforts and subsequent results stand for something for which they long in their lives. For me, “doing what I do” means that I persist with a lot of effort in things that I enjoy doing.
Whether it is competing in triathlons, running a consulting business, or sitting on the board of two non-profits, I give it my all and I persist to achieve excellence in all of these arenas. Perhaps this is what is standing out to others that makes them want to pay attention to me and emulate my results.
So if this is what is working to inspire others in my sphere of influence, my advice then to other leaders would be to say to them “that your persistent actions toward excellence really counts!”
While some of the people around me have loyalty to me and follow me initially because of the inspiration that I manage to cast on them, they come back for more because I am honest and willing to roll up my sleeves along side of them. They see honest effort coming from someone who cares. I make a concerted effort to be authentic and put my willing hands into helping them complete projects.
Just as a child can tell when adults are lying to them, so can employees tell when the “BS meter” is getting too high. So, to continue to emanate a practical posture of authenticity, I adopt the attitude of “when the going gets tough, the tough must keep going” despite any difficulty involved.
Sometimes it is very difficult to be honest with a team that may be no longer needed. Or it may be gut-wrenching to tell a team that the program they have been working on for ten months has just been cut. But, as a leader, you must persist with an honest communication approach that is consistent with being an authentic person of integrity. Even if it is difficult to have to convey bad news.
For me, each time I have had to have these discussions, I just simply told the truth in a humane way. Perhaps this has helped my be an inspiration in both times of good news and bad.
Honesty is the Best Policy
The next time you are talking with an employee, a group, a department, or even your whole organization, be honest with them. Remember that while working with them, that you actually are also living with them. Work with your employees as you would with your neighbors when you are making your neighborhood a better place to live. Rather than trying to “create inspiration” from some false set of creative blah, blah, blah… simply let your honest efforts and hard work speak for you while always remembering to treat employees like your neighbors.
Inspiration will come with some perspiration.
How are you working to instill a regimen of authentic behaviors in your daily routine? Where do you see growth patterns available to you that will help you stand out as an authentic person of integrity? Tell me where you stood up with sweat, hard work, and persistence that caught someone’s eye. I’d love to hear you story.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scott Archibald is President of Accelerated Business Consulting He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
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