Perspiration, not Perception Leads to Inspiration

Perspiration, not Perception Leads to Inspiration

There is something energizing by listening to an inspired speaker or leader. As he or she stands at the front of the room sharing inspirational stories, presenting a new vision or providing ways to help improve our lives we listen, take notes and imagine the possibilities. We may even start to think things like “wow, they are so good”, “I wish I could inspire people like that”, “I wonder how they got to be like that”. Then as you watch that person when the lights are off and they are no longer on stage they don’t really do anything. In fact, they are not inspiring at all when it comes to their actions. It is almost as if they live two completely different worlds. When this happens, and unfortunately, it happens quite often, the impacts can not only be uninspiring, but negative and frustrating.

The truth, actions are what ultimately inspire others to action. Sure, inspiring leaders must have the ability to communicate in ways that give others chills and cause them to have a desire to do better. However, when we see our leaders taking action and doing the things they ask others to do is when true inspiration can take place. Here are ways to help ensure you are Inspiring through Perspiration not just Perception:

1. Don’t just help others set goals, help them achieve them.
2. Be sure that those you lead see you taking action, not just hear you talk about it.
3. Communicate where you need to go then roll up your sleeves and lead the way.
4. Be consistent and genuine so there is no reason to question your authenticity as an inspiring leader.

The reality is that it not only takes hard work to rise up the management and leadership ranks, it takes even more hard work when you are a manager and leader. There are have many inspiring leaders who have shown through example what it takes to achieve success. There have also been many “perceived” inspiring leaders only to come and find out that their words overshadow their actions.

Some of the best bosses I have had were the ones who could inspire through word and action. It didn’t mean that they stayed at work the longest or worked every weekend, it meant they knew what needed to be done and were humble enough to help make it happen. They would make calls, visit customers, stuff envelopes, run reports and vacuum classrooms. Through their perspiration they created inspiration and thus I had a positive perception of them.

One last thing, there is something very empowering when we are taking action. A great leader gets energized when they know what needs to be done.  An inspiring leader stays energized by actually doing the things to achieve desired outcomes. We all love the feeling of success and when we are working smart and putting in the effort necessary to achieve our goals, we feel invigorated and that is very important. It is impossible to push a boulder up a hill by simply saying it needs to be done. When you start to push, others will see your effort and put their efforts towards helping you move that boulder up the hill. Once you have reached the top, you can’t help but feel energized while at the same time feeling tired. You achieved your goal and inspired others to help along the way. I have to warn you, this type of leading is very addictive.

We can all inspire, we just need to be willing to perspire.

Go out and be a hero. Inspire through action.

Don’t Burn Bridges

One of the things that many professionals overlook, especially when they are young in their career is the importance of not burning bridges. The concept of burning bridges refers to what can happen as you move from one opportunity to another one, you do so in a way that does not allow for there to be an opportunity with those you have associated with previously. This often happens as an employee leaves one company and is upset how they were treated. Their exit is accompanied by negative noise. When this happens a company will surely not allow that employee to return to work for them in the future.

When a decision is made to leave one opportunity to pursue another one it is in your best interest to do all you can to make the transition as professional as possible. You never know who you will need in the future or who will end up being your boss. Your ability to make a positive exit will pay huge dividends to you, your company and often those who you work with.

I have learned that leaving one company and going to another one can be one of the best personal and professional development opportunities of my life. I have made the decision to leave one company to go work for a competing company and everytime I have made this decision, I have done my best to leave with respect, professionalism and relationships intact. Here are some helpful hints for those that are or will be making important transitions:

1. Once you have made your decision, don’t apologize for the actual decision you have made. Your ability to be confident in your new opportunity will ensure respect with yourself, boss, co-workers and new company.

2. When you give two weeks, be willing to work out those two works and give it everything you’ve got. Stay focused.

3. Something I learned from my years in Boy Scouts, leave your position better than when you found it. Help ensure that the person coming behind you can pick-up where you left off and even do better. Put together transition notebooks, if you are lucky enough to spend time with your replacement, give them all the knowledge you can.

4. Don’t create company buzz about leaving. You need to be fair to your company and co-workers as they will be there when you leave. Keep things positive and focus on the great things about the company you are leaving. Let your company decide the best way to communicate your decision.

5. If possible, leave at the top of your game. Nothing is more powerful, empowering and respectful then leaving when you are at your best. This ensures that you will leave with a good relationship intact and in the chance that you need help in the future from your previous company or someone there, you have a much better chance of receiving it.

At the end of the day, leaving a company is never easy no matter what the situation might be. It may take extra effort to leave in a respectful and professional way but that extra effort will always be worth it. Don’t do anything that would burn bridges you just might need in the future. I know first hand that this is true. I have been re-hired by company’s I have left.

“Even Heroes will go through transitions. Heroes don’t burn bridges, they build them.”

Be A Hero!

Building Momentum

Momentum should never be underestimated.  When you can find ways to build momentum in a positive way, there is a feeling of empowerment that is so real you can touch it. You have the ability to make the intangible, tangible simply by generating positive momentum. This can happen in any aspect of your life, work, school, church, family, etc.

There are 3 key questions that I feel can help to build momentum:

1.   Do you care?

  • About yourself
  • About your goals
  • About your future
  • About what your legacy will be
  • About how you treat others
  • About how others treat you
  • About what makes you happy

2.   Why do you care?

  • You have goals you want to achieve
  • Others are looking to you as an example
  • You want to reach your full potential
  • You are following others who have set a good example
  • You can develop your strengths
  • You will establish better relationships
  • You will be respected
  • You will add value to your school, company, community, society

3.  How can you do more?

  • Take the lead more often
  • Become more humble to learn from others
  • Work harder in helping others reach their goals
  • Turn negative situations into positive learning opportunities
  • Be sure people know who you are
  • Find ways to serve others
  • Show love to those who love you

So what do those questions have to do with building momentum?

Momentum is not something that just happens. We must always be asking questions that will allow us to take action. It is only when we take action that momentum can start. When you truly care and know why you care you then almost instinctively want to do more. Doing is an action and to only way to build momentum is through our actions. There is a sense of pride that comes when you generate momentum that not only impacts you but others in a positive way.  We cannot sit back and allow the world to dedicate when or where or how momentum will impact ourlives, if we do, we will be very unsatisfied. When we are unsatisfied, we lose our energy and momentum and things can go negative quickly.

Building momentum is something that heroes do. The majority of the time it is a result of their actions that creates the true momentum. When we get the chills or that warm feeling in our heart when we see someone doing something great, it causes us to want to take action. That is momemtum. Can you imagine what this world would be like if we worked in harmony to build the type of momentum where every person felt they could succeed, guess what, we can. It starts with you and it starts with me. So together let’s start building momentum towards a brighter tomorrow. I can promise you that the youth of today are praying for our success, they want a better tomorrow.

Go out and be a hero!

Seth