Recently, as a winner of a local speaker search, I was afforded an opportunity to speak at TEDxSanDiego. The leadership of TEDx is passionately committed to inspire everyone in contact with the event. No one leaves without feeling a profound desire and drive to contribute more to the world for the betterment of society.
Live and virtual participants, volunteers, and speakers assemble to be inspired by ideas. As someone who has built a company focusing on business development, inspiration sounds like one of those squishy feel good topics that have nothing to do with the bottom line, which is where I spend most of my time. In fact, inspiration uniquely informs the bottom line in unexpected, interesting ways.
Inspiration serves a purpose and delivers more than a transitory feeling that has no tangible relevance; it offers something far more significant you might not guess. If everyone feels that they’re part of something greater than themselves and are empowered to personally contribute something meaningful, each and every individual can have an impact. What might that be worth?
I’m all too aware of the crushing pressure to generate revenue, which only increases the need for higher purpose. A valued contributor in an organization is not spending time complaining, but instead seeking solutions and furthering the greater goal. Most of us are searching for meaning and purpose.
An inspired organization that’s focused on excellence offers more than a product or service, it offers a reason to do business for both its employees and clients. Unquestionably an energized, enthusiastic culture produces higher results.
In business we can lose sight of the relationship between revenue and humanity. Numbers blind us to the very thing that produces those numbers — people. Human beings do business with other human beings. I can tell you that nothing, not even money, can inspire someone to sell something if they don’t feel good about what they’re doing. People don’t always remember what you say, but they never forget how you make them feel.
Having a Presence
Inspiration is not ephemera that can be dismissed as an inconsequential decadence. It should be assessed as a critical tool of quality leadership and a contribution to support those we lead to rise to their greatest selves.
Our culture is hungry for inspiration and seeks it out. Our hunger is so great that an inspirational story or video will be passed on and on and on, and viewed by millions. Uplifting the human spirit motivates action. If you lead to inspire and are invested in the development of others your organization can weather a storm or reach its next peak.
So how do we inspire greatness?
Acknowledge someone’s potential, ask what someone thinks, encourage someone to reach, share your own struggles, give more than you take, give someone a chance, guide someone to be better, reward instead of punish and be inspired yourself. While inspiration is an expansive and far reaching goal, it can be achieved quite inexpensively in small acts reaping extraordinary dividends.
Ann marie Houghtailing is an entrepreneur, writer, speaker, performer and is principal of The Houghtailing Group.