How to Find Inspiration as a Leader
As leaders, we often hear about how to be an inspirational leader, and how we should inspire the people we lead. That’s all well and good – but where do you get your own inspiration from?
Whether you need inspiration for a creative solution to a problem, or motivation to become the best leader you can be, we all need a little inspiration now and then.
Unfortunately, inspiration is a tricky beast, often striking at the most unexpected times, and deserting us when we need it the most. But there are ways to find inspiration when you think it’s gone.
Here are some ways both I, and the leaders I’ve coached, have found inspiration. Some of them might surprise you!
Other People as Leadership Inspiration
One of the biggest sources of inspiration for my clients is other people. There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing others overcome obstacles and achieve their goals – no matter how big or small those goals are.
Imagining how someone else might deal with the issue you’re tackling can help. It could be an old boss, a celebrity, or even a fictional character. Sometimes, just removing yourself from the issue at hand and imagining how someone you admire would handle it can bring you some surprising and inspired solutions.
While looking for inspiration from successful leaders and celebrities is great, don’t forget that your own employees might be just as inspiring in their own ways. Yes, it’s your job to inspire them, but it doesn’t have to be a one-way street. Listen to them, get to know them, and you may just find the best source of inspiration is right under your nose. Click To Tweet
One of my own personal sources of inspiration is music. After waiting 20 years, I recently saw Lauryn Hill in concert. Her songs which share an honest representation of a woman’s life and relationships, simply move me. I love these words from a music review describing her approach:
“To be vulnerable, but fearless. To tell the truth, but look beautiful in doing so. To be driven by love, but ready to fight. To be soft enough to mother a newborn, but hard enough to protect her family.”
Executive coaching helps you talk through your ideas and find the inspiration you need in a safe and confidential environment. If you’re ready to be inspired, rediscover your potential, and your love for your work then book a call with me today.
Keep an Inspiration Notebook
Have a notebook separate from your to-do-list and general meeting or project notes and keep it handy all the time. Jot down ideas and thoughts as they come to you. Don’t worry about whether they are good ideas or not, just write them all down as and when they occur. Then, when you’re in need of some inspiration read them back. It’s funny how often an idea you initially thought was ridiculous inspires you to solve an issue.
If you don’t write them down, you won’t remember them so don’t be tempted to keep them ‘in your head.’
Read inspiring books and articles
Most successful leaders are also avid readers. The latest inspirational non-fiction or thought leadership books are a great place to start. History books can provide inspiration from the great thinkers of the past.
Even reading books and articles outside of your industry can help. Reading or studying exposes you to new ideas, allowing your brain to make new connections and come up with new ideas – or fresh takes on old ideas.
Next time you’re struggling, hit the library or the bookshop for inspiration.
Relax and let inspiration come to you.
Sometimes, the best ideas come to you when you stop trying so hard to come up with them. Take a break and see what your mind comes up with when it’s under less pressure.
Go for a walk, have a nap, or just sit in quiet reflection away from your phone and your emails. If you can, get out of the office. Being out of your normal environment can really spark your inspiration. Give your mind a little breathing room, and you might be surprised at how creative it can be.
Exercise to encourage inspiration
If you struggle to relax just sitting still, try getting some exercise instead. Focusing on doing a physical task can have the same stimulating effect on your mind as sitting still.
Take a walk in the fresh air, go for a run or hit the gym. Anything that gets you moving and makes you feel good. People who exercise regularly report feeling healthier, more alert and focused at work, and more creative. Win-win!
Let your imagination run wild to spark your inspiration. Young children are rarely short of inspiration as their imaginations are working all the time.
Our day-to-day work as leaders can be very serious, but letting your hair down and doing something silly or fun can spark your imagination and get those creative juices flowing. Organise a fun team event that gets everybody thinking in new and different ways, let yourself go and use your free child ego state – the benefits will spill over into your more ‘serious’ work.
A lack of self-confidence and vision can leave you feeling frustrated and lacking focus at work. When you’re feeling inspired and creative, you’ll naturally feel more positive and in control. You’ll have a clear vision for yourself and your organisation and be able to make a positive contribution at work.
However you normally find your inspiration, there are always times when leaders need a confidential ear to talk through their ideas and challenges with. Unfortunately, it’s often not possible to have those open and frank conversations with your employees, your peers, and your boss.
That’s where executive coaching comes in. I can help you talk through your ideas and find the inspiration you need in a safe and confidential environment. If you’re ready to be inspired, rediscover your potential, and your love for your work then book a call with me today.