Inspiration is a spiritual idea; people are only truly inspired at a spiritual, soul level.
THE THINGS that inspire people to go that extra mile, stretching themselves to achieve and innovate, cannot be quantified. Daniel Pink in his book Drive, Simon Sinek in Start with Why, Chip Conley in Peak, and many other current authors are citing volumes of research showing that it isn't the promise of a pay raise or a promotion that binds people into extraordinarily synchronized teams. As important as tangible recognition is, that isn't what inspires people to do the spectacular. Tangible reward may temporarily motivate, but it cannot inspire. Inspiration is a spiritual idea, and people are only truly inspired at a spiritual or soul level.
Even in the work environment, people crave inspiration. Inspired people put the needs of others before their own interests and give of themselves in heroic ways that exceed anything imaginable in an uninspired environment. Companies that inspire their employees and their customers on intangible, almost spiritual, levels exude soul. This unappreciated fact is what prevents many brilliant companies from achieving their true potential.
Truly great leaders don't rely on their functional expertise or technical background. Great business leaders become experts in converting the spiritual dynamics of human energy into growth and economic value. They do this by inspiring people, connecting with them in a meaningful way, and tapping into their human spirit.
To make this connection with people, however, we need to first understand what makes them tick at a deep soul level. What inspires people to go that extra mile and do those heroic things that distinguish some companies from others? What influences people to choose to do the right thing over the easy thing, and what sometimes holds them back from doing things they know are right? To channel the energy of our teams, we must be able to identify what it is that truly drives them.