Last week, I talked about embracing challenge and using the past experiences of overcoming challenges to inspire us to action. This week I want to dive a little deeper. Why did I jump off that tree branch? For the reward! Even though I didn't know what the reward would be, my brother did. He inspired me to action because he believed in me. This is a one powerful word: BELIEF.
Edmund Hillary, one of the first mountaineers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, once said, "It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." People have to believe in what they are doing. When someone steps up to lead, they have to get their people to believe that their direction is the best way to do it. Your people have to either have 100% trust in you when you tell them how to do it or you have to get them to believe they can do it. If they believe, they will embrace the task at hand.
How often do we want to just go into the office of that person who is just not making it happen and say, "This is what we are going to do"? The challenge with that is we often aren't inspiring anyone to do the job and we are especially not getting them to embrace it with their whole being. Yes, the job may have gotten done and it may have gotten done quickly, but your people didn't have the feeling of accomplishment and joy in their heart because they were just told what to do. They weren't given the opportunity to help come up with the solution.
When developing your people becomes your focus, that is, when you give them the power to determine the course of action, they will do it with all their heart and the outcome is usually something better than anyone could have imagined. It could look better, or could be done with less cost, or could done with less labor, but the fact is that multiple heads came together, believing they could do it. A team that embraces each member, no matter what the outcome, will sustain that team for the long term.
When was the last time you said to one of your people, to your spouse or your child that you believe in them and really meant it? I believe this statement is so powerful that it penetrates straight to the heart if it is authentically communicated. If you want to deepen your trust with your team, organization or family, start by letting them know, one by one, that you do believe in them. Then step back and watch as they are inspired to action.
Check out this a great video by Simon Sinek, who uses an easy visual to explain this concept of how great leaders inspire action.