HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE GREAT ACTIONS
For far too long now, we have followed conventional paths think we will find the answers to all of our problems, even the most complex ones. Unfortunately, all we ever seem to find are more questions, mostly wondering where all of our resources have gone. The evidence is clear. We cannot achieve sustainable economic growth without significant systemic innovation in both the demand (consumption) and supply (production) sides of major industrial, commercial and institutional sectors.
Yet today, so much is needed to succeed the idea of stopping long enough to reset is overwhelming to most. For leaders especially who have to:
– Connect with customers
– Embrace Millennials
– Invest in mentoring and engagement
– Focus on strengths more than remedial leadership
– Extend value through services for commodity products as margins will continue to erode.
– Invest in a corporate culture of customer service to grow revenue
– Measure and deliver results – not just solutions
– Be creative – even introduce ‘fun and games’ to engage customers and employees
– Tightly integrate marketing into the sales process
– Invest in developing ‘selling/solving’ skills for sales and non-sales-people.
But what very few leaders and managers ever stop to think about is without a doubt the most important factor: Inspiration.
Inspiration is key in communicating an ideal or a purpose, especially to large groups, organizations, communities and societies, generating emotional responses that translate into long term or life time commitment to any given cause or purpose.
Certainly motivation is important. But it operates on a shorter timeline, generating actions usually for an immediate reward or benefit.
The distinction between inspiration and motivation is important. As for ideas to develop into ACTIONS, with lasting positive impacts, or cause a paradigm shift in how we think. Leaders must inspire, not just motivate and physically act or react.
So what does this mean in terms of initiatives. Simple really:
1. Know why you do what you do. Know your purpose, or what others call your vision. That’s your why. And in the words of Simon Simek, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it and as he reminds us, Martin Luther King never set out to sell a plan. He was selling a dream and that is why people were inspired and are still inspired by him, long after his death. And making money isn’t a reason. That’s a result. No, in the words of Simek “First why and then trust”.
2. Then know how you do what you do. This is what makes you special. The motivation if you will. The specific actions in terms of processes to realize the why, driven by key principles Some organizations know what that is that sets them apart from their competitions, beyond the ‘nuts and bolts’, but many don’t, or at least can’t express it due to poor communication skills. The other big gap in most major sector performing poorly in terms of resource efficiency and productivity, is that they either address the project management or change management side of things, but hardly ever both and even more rarely together, in an integrated fashion. Hence the project disappointments, or additional cost, time required and unnecessary conflicts.
3. Every organization know what they do. That’s the result of their work. These days, the opportunities are endless, especially for those working on systems addressing societal system addressing water, energy, food and material nexus.