Inspiring the Best in Others

Think for a moment about the person in your life who inspired you to be your very best. Perhaps a teacher opened your eyes to a new way of thinking. Or maybe a coach pushed you to perform at a championship level. Perhaps a friend or family member encouraged you to persevere through a challenging time.

Great leaders in our lives push us beyond the mundane and ordinary toward high achievements. Do you remember the extra effort you expended to excel or the ability you had to persevere despite the challenge you were facing? The memories of these “Mountain Peaks” often create a cycle of excellence. Inspiration causes us to put forth extra effort, creates success, and strengthens the relationship which inspires us further.

What would it look like if YOU inspired excellence in others? How would you start? Who would you most want to inspire? What would you do?

Inspiring others to achieve their best is not magical nor mysterious. According to Kouzes and Posner in their book The Leadership Challenge, there are four ways that you can inspire the people around you to be their best.

  1. High Expectations Lead to High Performance.When we expect the best from others, they often rise to the occasion.
  1. Clear Expectations and Goals Focus Attention.A clear goal with regular updates on progress toward the goal provides the big picture and helps others push beyond the routine and ordinary.
  1. Feedback and Goals Keep People Engaged.An ambitious goal by itself does little to motivate others to greatness. However, a goal coupled with regular feedback helps others stay on track and provides motivation.
  1. Create Conditions for Success.Giving people the tools and resources they need, along with removing road blocks provides the support and motivation required to strive for greatness.

How would you rate your effectiveness at inspiring the people around you?