The word inspire means ‘to breathe life into’ and often leaders get concerned about how to do that to others. But that can be hard work, because the orientation is doing something to someone.
Interestingly, having your focus on others and what inspires you about them – authentically being inspired by them – is a much easier road and produces a much more powerful impact.
Just the act of ‘trying’ to inspire people insinuates that they need inspiring. It puts the leader in a position of superiority, of having assessed a ‘lack’ in others. By its very nature it renders the follower as less than, not equal to or capable of being better than. There is no true empowerment in that space.
When you find yourself being genuinely inspired by the people around you, moved by their commitment, their passion, their struggles and their courage, something magical happens. It creates a profound connectedness, based in respect and appreciation, that will never be accomplished through ‘inspiring’ others.
And its way easier, because when you really look and listen – people are extraordinarily inspiring. The only thing you need to do is get your attention off yourself and onto others.