noun: inspiration
  1. 1.
    the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
    “Helen had one of her flashes of inspiration”
    • the quality of being inspired, especially when evident in something.
      “a rare moment of inspiration in an otherwise dull display”
    • a person or thing that inspires.
      plural noun: inspirations
      “he is an inspiration to everyone”

      synonyms:  guiding light, examplemodelmusemotivationencouragementinfluencespurstimulusliftboostincentiveimpulsecatalyst“her work is a real inspiration to others”

      Can you guess the theme for this week?  
      As you look at the synonyms linked to the first part of the definition there can be no question why inspiration is critical.  Today, more than ever, we need individuals, teams and organizations that are creative, inventive, innovative and so on.  However it is more important that leaders, like you, inspire those with whom they interact.
      In her post, Why Great Leaders(Like Richard Branson) Inspire Instead of Motivate  Marissa Levin develops the differentiation between being motivated and being inspired (“Motivation pushes you to accomplish a task…..we are motivate by a result.  Inspiration pulls you toward something that stirs your heart….”).  She continues by citing research conducted through Harvard Business School that identifies a leader’s ability to inspire as the trait that creates the highest levels of engagement, it is what separates the best leaders from everyone else, and it is what employees want most in their leaders.”.  She concludes by identifying 8 behaviors that leaders utilize as a means of inspiring.
      Levin touches on the work of Simon Senek and his TED presentation entitled, How Great Leaders Inspire Action . This presentation, given at TEDxPugent Sound in 2009, develops Senek’s idea of “The Golden Circle”.  He proposes that there is a commonality in the manner in which great leaders and organizations think, act and communicate.  He concludes his remarks stating, We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves.
      Finally, one of my favorite writers, Tanveer Naseer, considers the role of the leaders as an inspirational figure in his recent blog, How Do You Inspire Others Through Your Leadership?  Naseer recounts a conversation with another leader at a recent convention where he was asked, “How do I go about inspiring others?”  His response focuses on a simple, but intriguing question. “Do we see individuals as inspiring leaders because they achieve extraordinary things, or is it because they themselves were extraordinary in how they chose to lead? 
      So, how do you choose to lead?  Who inspired or inspires you?  Who are you inspiring?  Have a great week and Embrace the Challenge,