For all the parents out there, you will get this faster than most.
How many times do you have to tell your kid to brush their teeth, fold their clothes or practice their handwriting?
I know for me it feels like these are chores and tasks that, unless we create an insane level of a carrot-stick approach to parenting with nutty positive and negative reinforcements, are never going to click.
That was until the other week.
My son James received a Valentine from an old friend he used to see all the time.
These two were tight, but like most things in life, things change and they haven’t seen each other in a bit.
Out of the blue, James received this awesome surprise and was over the moon excited.
He whipped out a pad of paper and pencil and returned a letter to his friend in the best handwriting we have ever seen – and with more detail than is standard in his writing. The time between him reading the letter to putting his own in the mailbox was less than 30 minutes flat.
This is inspired action.
James didn’t do it because he had to.
He embraced a “get to” mentality.
James did this because it was something he wanted to do.
It didn’t feel like work.
It didn’t feel like he was doing it for anything but pure joy, bliss, and excitement.
When was the last time your team was inspired to act in this way?
Seems like a silly question to ask while people are still debating their approach to hybrid work, new change programs, and ultimately any decisions coming out of the executive suite.
On our SHIFT blog, we’ve written extensively on why it’s so hard to get everyone on the same page.
The gist? We live in a world where everyone is vying for your attention. Messages are, at best, watered down among layers of negotiated compromise and strategic communication.
We all know the difference.
You have been on the other side of a customer service agent who says all the right words but with a half smile on their face.
Sure, they are checking the box on the many “best practices” they have been trained in, but most of us see right through this.
Does that experience leave you feeling part of a special, present, unique, and human-to-human moment? No.
What binds humanity together is the sense that our fellow brothers and sisters are acting from a place of choice, intuition, and inspiration – rather than acting from external motivation such as money, recognition or praise.
In short, inspired action means doing it for you.
It’s committing to action that doesn’t feel like work.
It’s an unlock.
When action is derived from inspiration, it immediately feels different among a sea of compliance, command, and controlled behavior, especially in a business setting.
We’ve all heard the famous story where JFK was speaking at Rice College back in 1962, talking about putting a man on the moon. After the speech, while leaving the campus, JFK ran into a janitor. When Kennedy asked what the janitor did, he replied, “I’m putting a man on the moon.”
If a janitor can see themselves putting a man on the moon, what are you hoping your team sees himself or herself trying to accomplish?
Inspired action leads to the feeling of one team coming together for one fight.
On my first tour of the Tesla facility back in 2015, our guide was not a normal guide. I was watching him give this tour but sensing we were being punked. I suspected this person was performing a few elevated jobs instead of a real tour guide.
I was wrong.
He was just inspired to act.
He had chosen to act in alignment with the Tesla vision of becoming a multi-planet species.
There is a mixture of action, passion, and noble aim behind inspired action.
Most executive leaders are struggling with the basics right now:
- Communicating direction to the team.
- Getting a response or commitment of any kind.
- Seeing the team respond in a way that’s not forced but feels authentic.
The good news is that Latch is designed to solve for these challenges.
What's the secret to inspiring your team to act?
Listen deeply and over the long term.
Understanding what truly makes your team’s heart beat faster is critical.
Beyond listening, share something that inspired you to act.
Whether reading or listening, humans can sense if you are doing something for a transaction or external validation – or whether it’s a pure act of inspiration.
Rick Rubin nails this in his book, The Creative Act: A Way of Being, when he said, “Success happens in the privacy of one’s soul.”
And finally, make time and space for them to act. Offer room and grace for your team to step up and in. This allows them to fill the void with their whole selves in choice.
As a leader, what’s better than knowing your presence, your leadership, and your being-ness is creating authentic and inspired action?
More importantly, if your team is inspired to act as one team against one mission, what can’t be accomplished?
That’s right… nothing.