Motivation Vs. Inspiration

Abundance Purpose

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Key Point: There is a difference between motivating and inspiring others. Both are important, and live together as “cousins,” but they are very different. Ideally, leaders are capable of intentionally delivering both. What’s the difference between motivation and inspiration? 

The late “self improvement” guru, Dr. Wayne Dyer, noted the difference in the following way: “It is very hard to enroll people in anything. And there is a very big difference between the words motivate and inspire. Motivation means we have an idea and we are going to carry through on that idea. We work hard at it, and we are disciplined. A highly motivated person takes an idea, goes out there, and won’t let anybody interfere with them. Inspiration is exactly the opposite. If motivation is when you get hold of an idea and carry it through to its conclusion, inspiration the reverse. An idea gets hold of you and carries you where you are intended to go… The word inspired comes from being in spirit, accessing a force out there. Patanjali said when you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations. Your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, wonderful world. Patanjali also said dormant forces, faculties, and talents – things you thought were inaccessible and unavailable to you – come alive when you are inspired. You discover yourself to be a far greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” 

Hmmm that’s a very interesting way of differentiating. It’s one thing to get hold of an idea and drive it, and another to have an idea get hold and drive you. 

Dyer goes on to say: “When you are connected in that way, (driven by an idea that’s got hold of you) everyone around you is inspired. What it takes to reach this place I’m speaking about is to be in spirit. You shift who you are away from what you have, what you do, what your reputation is, what people think of you, and all of that ego-based thinking… So, it’s really about modeling it and letting people know you are an inspired person, a person who is in spirit, and then those forces begin to show up and, lo and behold, the universe provides for you.” 

Character Moves: 

  1. As a leader, it is important to motivate. I think that happens when people feel compelled to contribute to achieving a desired future state they personally and emotionally connect with. Ideally, people feel motivated by the joy of winning versus the fear of losing. Create a vision that is highly motivational for people. They want to be part of achieving positive milestones. 
  1. Inspire by modeling when you’re truly captured by an idea or desired future state. When an idea gets a hold of you, a push (motivation) becomes a pull (inspiration).  Nothing is more inspirational than being around one who is pulled by an idea. If you’re inspired, getting out of bed in the morning is rarely (if ever) a push. It is a compelling pull that puts a spring in your step. When that idea pulls you forward, you are an Inspiration more than a motivator.
  1. Both motivation and inspiration are important and work well together. However, discovering that idea that pulls you forward is a bigger thought. As Dyer notes: You then become a person in spirit or flow.

More Inspiration in the Triangle,

Lorne 

One Millennial View: It seems like you can go to any conference room at a downtown Marriot and you’ll probably happen upon a motivational speaker of some sort. Finding a truly “inspirational speaker” would be more challenging. Still, we can all probably think of a few candidates that would inspire us. If we can determine what makes them pull us forward, maybe that’s the foundation we can build from to figure out how to pull others too. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Working at the ‘Coal Face’ in 2016!

Accountability Management

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Key Point: Executives can easily get caught up in big time strategy planning, swallowed up in cool ideas revolving around disruption, transformation, digital technology and a host of other compelling topics. And they must. However, it is so easy to forget about where leadership energy has the most immediate and powerful impact: At the interface between employees and customers. In the United Kingdom, the frontline (in historical reference to coal miners), is often described as the “coal face.”

The other day I had problem with my cable box. And I hope my cable company knows I’m a “hair” away from cancelling and going exclusively with Apple TV, Netflix and other combinations. For now, I’m hanging in there. The other night I had a problem, and after the obligatory “reboot,” I called customer service. Following the inevitable and laborious phone tree, and too long of a wait, the customer technician was finally on the phone with me. To troubleshoot, he asked me to identify the serial number on the set top box. Geez, here we go again. I had to crawl on my hands and knees, use the flashlight on my iPhone, get a magnifying glass (literally) to read a 20 digit number from a minute font on the back of the box that a golden eagle would have trouble seeing. First of all, a customer should never have to do that at all. Yet this was probably literally the 15th time over my cable paying years in Canada and the U.S. I’ve done that, and every time I’ve complained. I feel so sorry for the customer service rep: “I apologize Mr. Rubis, and we are working with the set top box suppliers to address that matter.” Really? That’s what I heard eight years ago!” And of course, I know this frontline person can’t actually make that change. But here is what I do know: No one leader with any authority genuinely cares. If they did, something would have been done a long time ago. Cable companies buy millions of set top boxes, and if they really wanted a different customer experience on something as simple as font size of serial numbers Motorola and other suppliers would promptly comply. No one cares enough to address it. The poor frontline agent has to absorb the frustration repeatedly. And I can’t only pick on cable companies. In our business, we put customer service phone numbers on the back of our credit cards that are so small that the real message seems to be: “If you really have to call, and we hope you don’t, please squint and call the following number. Hope you get the number right.”

I’ve been looking at employee engagement numbers for years and the one consistent theme and priority for people is to give them the tools and information to consistently give customers and each other a superb experience. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. The data I’ve reviewed stresses that the ability to do my job well, and give those I deliver my personal service to (i.e. my brand integrity), a great experience is even more important than pay. It is a huge, and I believe primary source of employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction. If that is the case, why do we continuously throw customer-facing people under the bus? For example, a poor quality new product or service is released and customer service reps get slammed with calls about the defects. An out of date policy makes a sales person look stupid and often powerless. Etc, etc. Want to change an organization quickly? Take 20 percent of the issues causing 80 percent of customer unhappiness and transform the business around those. As leaders of most businesses we intuitively know that, but most of us just can’t seem to make that the number one priority and intense focus. Why?

Character Moves:

  1. Every single person in any company, especially formal leaders, should have to live and work in a customer-facing role on a regular basis. If we really want to dramatically improve employee engagement and customer experience; including being disruptive, that would take us a long way there.

At the “coal face” in the Triangle,

Lorne

One Millennial View: Even if that show “Undercover Boss” is fake/manipulated (like all reality TV generally is), viewers recognize that almost all executives immediately get a true gut check when taking on a customer-facing role (often for the first time in years, if ever). So speaking of potential progress, at least they’re making moves in the cable department: If you don’t know already, check out DirecTV Now. The cable box-less future is here, folks. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis