Mentors to Executives Worldwide

39 of 259 episodes indexed
Back to Search - All Episodes

Inspiration or Motivation?

by Mentors to Executives Worldwide
May 12th 2021
How do you manage your team? How are you managed? By inspiration or motivation? What’s the difference? Triggered by a short video from Simon Sinek (see below), this week Kim and Fulyana look at ... More
Welcome back, I'm Kim Baillie, she's Fulyana Orsborn and this is Inside Exec. Today we're going to talk about inspiration and motivation, inspired, I will say, by a short video that I saw recently, we've both seen now recently from Simon Sinek who you know is a favorite of ours. He talked in that about the difference between inspiration and motivation. And I thought that given the scenarios work wise, that we might have in the next 12 months, that might be a good way of us looking at how we are managing our people and what we are doing to keep them inspired. Because I don't think motivation is the way to go. Motivation, if I look at it in very personal terms and you can all do the same, you are motivated to get up in the morning, but are you inspired to get up in the morning? They are two very different things. If we look at it in terms of the people that are working with us, we can motivate them?

And most often we would think that motivation is money or it's prestige or it's working on a big project, something that for which they can gain personal reward. In terms of that personal reward, they might have something they want to do with that. So if we look at money being the motivator, there are things that they want to do with that money that will make them feel better about themselves, improve their lifestyle, whatever else it is. It's a short term activity, motivation, because you can't sustain paying them more ad infinitum, you can't motivate them in terms of being on a prestigious project because that will end at some point. So motivation has an endpoint, inspiration is ongoing and inspiration is more of an outward looking thing. So they will give you more, they will do more so that the sum of what they give to a project or an activity is greater than you could motivate them to do is how I look at it.

I agree. I think with the inspiration, I think it's to do with one's own values, if they align with their organization, whether it is a work organization or an organization that is part of their hobby. You know, you're making a difference to the world or to wherever you want and that's around with you. For example, if you're working for not for profit and you're helping people get educated in poorer areas or countries or cultures, the inspiration is to get as many people on board with that, as much funding as you can, as much support to give those people. So the inspiration is seeing those people benefit from what you doing together with other people, which is the organization. The motivation is saying, I am motivated within parts of that inspiration. So I'm motivated today, I'm motivated to get this and I'm going to do that.

But the big picture and what is the long term benefit for the way I feel about the world, my contribution and what makes me get up in the morning excitedly and jump there rather than to get things done is the difference. But I think we shouldn't focus on the fact that inspiration has to mean that you are alive and driven, inspiration can just be an idea that comes to you. And so we have a phrase that we used to say, well it was inspired thinking, it's about a broader goal. But how do you then pass on that inspiration to the people that are working with you as a leader? You can be inspired, but how do you transfer that inspiration to the group that are working for you? So that they are inspired? Maybe not in the same way, and I think that's where the confusion about inspiration and motivation comes because what you're generally classified as doing is you're not inspiring.

The people who are working for you are motivated with your inspiration, with your idea and in some cases with your motivation as well. So there are two very different things that we need to start thinking about in terms of management and we may well need both. We might need to motivate people to become inspired by what they're doing or what you see as inspiration. The management side of it, I think is the challenge. So we are conditioned to manage by motivation and that hasn't really changed. We might have inspiration in pockets within a team, say a solution to an issue is inspired thinking or we get inspired by the fact that the project has got momentum, but the motivation is still the driving factor, it's that end goal because that's how we measure a project is that it got finished and that it was successful. That confusion around the difference between the two and how you manage them is what I'm most interested in, exploring inspiration as well.

Sometimes it is infectious in a way because if you find someone who is say charismatic and they are inspired and their face lights up when they share that vision of what they try to do with you, you might even get inspired to do more of what they're thinking and doing. Or it might inspire you to say, look how I felt when this person did that, look at the reaction of the room or the group or whatever it is to that inspiration, so it might encourage me. Anything that I'm inspired by, to share it and bring it to the forefront. It could be a completely different topic and most cases it is and an idea or whatever it is, and then I agree with the motivation then is making it happen, right? It's like having that bright idea, but it's only a bright idea until it becomes reality This is not a big topic of discussion, but one that we wanted to bring to your attention, so you could start to think about those two concepts and how they work with your management style and whether you can identify the fact that you're managing by motivation or inspiration or a bit of both.

And what is the long term management strategy for you? Whether it is motivation or inspiration, for my vote I think that long term, you should be managing by inspiring your people, but you will need to motivate them in some way to take on the inspiration that you have and that you're prepared to give them. She's got nothing else to add. I'm going to finish now with inspiration and motivation. I'm Kim Baillie, she's Fulyana Orsborn, this is Inside Exec.

Inspiration or Motivation?
Inspiration or Motivation?
replay_10 forward_10