Success in a time of change comes from getting yourself and other people to do new things in new ways.
The best way to achieve that is by inspiring them. Because, as Steve Jobs put it:
“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
Your ability to inspire yourself and others will impact your results three times over:
— First, in a time of churning, people are likely to be experiencing uncertainty and confusion. Getting them to switch to your proposed new direction means overcoming their inertia, doubt, and even fear. The best way to do that is by providing a large dose of vision and inspiration.
— Second, once people have joined your project, difficulties are bound to arise. The more inspiration you have created, the more people will be able to overcome or work around these difficulties without further input from you. Whether they are customers, employees, or investors, the more inspiration they get from participating in your project the more committed they will be to continue engaging with it no matter what difficulties arise. (A 2016 survey of tech companies showed that employees at Tesla and SpaceX had the most stressful and the lowest paying jobs, but also the most meaningful and inspiring.)
— Third, over time the level of inspiration felt by your team will show up in the results you produce together. Research by Gallup found that companies with highly engaged workforces “outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share… A highly engaged work-force means the difference between a company that outperforms its competitors and one that fails to grow.”
Building inspiration will spur people to join your project, motivate them to stick with it when problems arise, and increase the levels of contribution they make while they are with you. It is also more enjoyable to be around.
How can we create this inspiration? By building an inspiring vision of your project — or rather, by telling an inspiring, visionary story about it. This is the focus of Chapter 6.
Adapted from Inner Leadership.