Inspiration is the ability to develop a passion for achievement based not only on the material incentives, but for reasons that go beyond money or status. It is the ability to take on the role as a leader of a team or group and motivate them to get the job done. People with inspiration are able to build a strong sense of belonging within the group, making others feel they are part of something larger than themselves. They remain optimistic even in the face of failure and overcome the frustration by combining self- regulation with achievement and motivation.
If you are building a team and are looking for candidates who have strong inspirational traits, the signs to look for are:
- A passion for the work itself. Such people seek challenges, love to learn and take great pride in a job well done
- Desire to do things better. Such people often seem restless with the status quo. They are persistent with questions about why things are done one way rather than another and are eager to explore new approaches to their work
- Positive competitiveness and a love to keeping score.
- Before launching significant initiatives or projects, spend time with your team and create a vision for their work. Going forward, on a regular basis remind the team about the value the projects create and the role each one on the team played in the value created
- Ask your team regularly how you can achieve the organization’s vision (or the part most relevant to a particular individual) more effectively. This will help create sense of ownership and realization that the job they do is meaningful
- Provide your employees with a regular feedback. During one-on-ones, honestly and thoughtfully tell them how they are performing and where they can improve
- Help your employees with professional development. Ask them where they want to be in three years and help them get to their goal. Do this through mentorship, role-modeling, assigning them on interesting and high visibility projects, letting them attend industry events and encouraging to take class offered by your company’s Development department. Your employees want to know that you care about helping them attain their goal. This will also help them enhance their self-esteem.
- Say “Thank You.” Recognize your team’s contribution by expressing your appreciation both verbally and materially (a paid dinner for two or a gift certificate). This will provide them with the sense of accomplishment and belonging to an organization that cares about them.
- Think of leaders you find inspirational. Interview them and find out why you find them inspirational. Analyze their style and ask how they view their role
Ability to inspire also makes these people excellent collaborators: their passion for the work spreads to others making finding solutions or task execution easier.