Do you ever wonder as a leader how do you inspire your team? Perhaps you might also consider how to inspire those around you in your personal circle, such as your family and friends. It’s one of the most common goals I hear from my clients when we begin coaching.

I want to inspire my team. I want to be an inspirational leader. And often, I ask them, “What does inspiration mean to you?” “What inspires you?” “Who inspires you?” Sometimes, the answers come easy but most of the time, there’s difficulty answering these questions.

For some, people tie inspiration to greater performance and increased productivity from their teams. At times not considering inspiration is often the result of a vision, an idea or witnessing something else is possible and expressing what that is to them. Inturn, motivating others into action whatever that may be.

Inspiration can be derived from people, places or things and is a subjective experience nor does it have to be complex.

I had one client really struggle with these questions when asked who and what inspires him. He said the person that came to mind was someone who he saw was able to influence his team to get results. “Interesting,” I said.

“What about this person is inspiring to you? Can you identify a specific quality or emotion that makes you feel that way about him?” He couldn’t really give me a straight answer.

Inspiring others isn’t about getting someone to do something for an ulterior motive. It’s about awakening something within someone else that prompts them to do, say, feel, act on something without question.

The people that inspire us from celebrities, thought leaders, humanitarians and so on are inspirational to us because of what they make us feel, what they cause us to believe or perhaps how they encourage us to behave and show up in our own lives. That we too might be able to make an impact on someone else. No matter how big or small.

That’s the beauty of inspiration; it’s a ripple effect that sparks others to experience those same good feelings that we feel when we’re inspired.

How can you inspire those around you if you don’t know what inspires you?

For inspiration to spread, we have to be willing to find what inspiration means and looks like for us and share that unapologetically. Sometimes, it’s not about what inspires us that’s important, but the quality of inspiration.

According to Psychologists Todd Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot, these 4 statements can help you measure the quality of being inspired. How would you answer the below?

Ask yourself:

  1. I experience inspiration
  1. Something I encounter or experience inspires me
  1. I’m inspired to do something
  1. I feel inspired

What did you come up with? A little investigation to explore what truly inspires you where you find and experience inspiration can change the way you show up and lead others.

The search for inspiration doesn’t have to be hard or calculated. Your level of openness and willingness to follow your curiosity and where your heart desires lead you is what matters. It’s no one’s journey but your own to explore what prompts you to respond and express what means something to you.

I love this statement from columnist Chris Johnstone:

“If all we see is people carrying on as if nothing is wrong, that becomes a reference point that influences our response.”

There’s something to be said when a crisis hits, a situation requires an immediate response and most of us look to others to see how to respond. It’s why the brave and courageous act of leadership asks you to go first.

When you consider how to inspire your team and those in your personal sphere, think about the very thing that inspires you, to help you lead your team to greater heights.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

What’s your greatest source of inspiration? Have more than one? Let me know.

To being inspired and inspiring you.

Lisa