Inspiration vs. Motivation

Leaders inspire people. People motivate themselves.

Leaders often fail to understand a simple fact of human nature: people are intrinsically motivated beings.  They come to work for two reasons: to earn the economic means to support themselves and their family and to make a difference. And they seek to understand how and why they are making a difference in the workplace.  Motivating others is an outside-in approach to leadership that is not sustainable over time because people don’t need motivation. They need inspiration. Inspiring people is an inside-out approach to leadership that is entirely self-sustaining, as people strive to reach their fullest potential. 

According to Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project at Harvard, "It's a depressing but undeniable reality: the vast majority of employees feel depleted, diminished, disenfranchised, demoralized, and disengaged at work."

"In today's knowledge-driven economy, the best measure of productivity is no longer how much time people invest. Rather, it's how much energy they bring to whatever hours they work - and the value of the work they produce as a consequence. The challenge for employers is to free, fuel, and inspire their employees to bring more of their potential to work every day."

Our current Human Era of 2015 — 2030, requires a new kind of leader who practices inspired, whole person or purposeful leadership, responsible for mobilizing, focusing, inspiring, and regularly recharging the energy of those they lead.

To preview the research findings of the Human Era at Work by Tony Schwartz, please click here.

To preview a short high-definition film on how Kevin Asbjornson develops the inspired, transformational leader required in our Human Era of 2015 - 2030, please preview here.

According to Nancy J. Adler, PhD., S. Bronfman Chair of Management at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, in her article entitled The Arts & Leadership: Now That We Can Do Anything, What Will We Do?  “Whereas 20th-century managerial frameworks focused primarily on motivation, often attempting to identify sets of rewards and punishment that would motivate workers to producer more, 21st-centruy leaders know that such motivation is not enough.  The leadership challenge today is to inspire people, not simply to motivate them.” 

To read the entire, enlightening article by Nancy J. Adler, PhD., please click here.
The competencies required to inspire are significantly different than the competencies required to motivate. The essential competencies for inspiring others are outlined in Kevin Asbjornson’s Eight Keys to Inspired Leadership™. 

Leadership is a Performing Art!  To preview a short film of leadership as a performing art in action, please click here