Shyam's Slide Share Presentations

VIRTUAL LIBRARY "KNOWLEDGE - KORRIDOR"

This article/post is from a third party website. The views expressed are that of the author. We at Capacity Building & Development may not necessarily subscribe to it completely. The relevance & applicability of the content is limited to certain geographic zones.It is not universal.

TO VIEW MORE CONTENT ON THIS SUBJECT AND OTHER TOPICS, Please visit KNOWLEDGE-KORRIDOR our Virtual Library

Thursday, March 21, 2013

CLIMBING OUT OF THE HOLE: MOTIVATION VS INSPIRATION IN LEADERSHIP 03-21



CLIMBING OUT OF THE HOLE: MOTIVATION VS INSPIRATION IN LEADERSHIP



Over the years I have noticed an important difference between motivation and inspiration in life and leadership development. In simple terms, motivation is a boost that we seek from the outside while inspiration is born of the passion that is our birthright.
Unfortunately since the topic of sinkholes seems to be trending these days, it got me thinking about a story from one of my favorite TV shows a while back, The West Wing.
It goes something like this:
A guy walking down the street falls into a hole. The sides are so steep that it seems impossible to get out, but he tries anyway. He keeps at it hour after hour, slipping back down again at each attempt. After a while, he realizes that he can see who’s walking by if he cranes his neck at the correct angle.
A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, “Hey, you . . . can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down the hole, and moves on. Not long afterward, a priest comes along, and the guy yells out, “Father, I’m down in this hole; can you help me?” The priest scribbles down a prayer, throws it down the hole, and moves on. Then, to the man’s elation, one of his friends walks by. “Joe, it’s me! Am I ever glad to see you. Give me some help here, okay?”
At this, the friend jumps into the hole, and our guy says, “Are you stupid? Now we are both down here!”
His friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.”

Why is it important that we should know the difference between motivation and inspiration?

The answer is really simple.
Using our story of “the hole,” motivation is similar to the notes that were thrown down as folks walked by our hapless guy. These notes had no effect on his ultimate goal of getting out, but they did offer him a distraction and perhaps a glimmer of hope. Inspiration on the other hand is accessing the passion that has always been there. In our case, a friend jumped down the hole in order to remind our guy how to utilize the climbing skills he already had.

Which of these two possibilities would you pick?

As a leader, it is important to stake out a clear direction and teach those who follow how to arrive at the destination. Inspired followers will seek leadership when it’s needed and rely on their own inspiration and talent when it’s not. In other words inspiration holds within it the seeds of self-leadership when fully in bloom. Motivated followers, on the other hand, learn to seek out their leader whenever their gas tank runs dry. Feeling down today? A great tip is to find the person that got you excited the last time you felt like this. The ultimate result is that nothing is learned and there are no seeds that result in the blooming of anything.
Once this distinction is brought into our awareness, it is important that we understand the difference in our felt experience with each attribute.

So how can you tell when you’re inspired or simply motivated?

The following table identifies some important understandings that you might feel when in either of these positions:
Inspiration
  • It’s yours to start with
  • Others occasionally help you find it
  • Intuitively you know it’s yours
Motivation
  • You get it from the outside
  • You always need to get more
  • You are upset when it’s not there
One of the reasons that I stress the value of storytelling is that within our own stories lies the inspiration for movement in life. Owning our own stories is a very important feature of living a passionate and inspired life. Borrowing stories from others, while interesting, many times gives us a short burst of energy. So once we have learned to climb out of the hole on our own we have also reconnected ourselves with our original passion. The good news here is that we no longer need to live in a hole and read the random notes that well-meaning leaders toss us from time to time.