Finding new sources of inspiration

Binoculars on the Empire State Building

Having centred ourselves and made clear sense of our situation, the third step of Inner Leadership is to find more potential ways forward.

We could do this by looking at the strategic and operational alternatives. But in a time of change, all ways forward are likely to be difficult, and the strategic and operational options that worked well in the past won’t necessarily work well in the future: after all,

Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb by looking for better ways of making candles.

In times of change, new opportunities will be emerging all the time but we won’t find them by applying our existing mindsets. We have to think differently.

Anything new is likely to be difficult, so success is most likely to come from whatever will generate the greatest levels of enthusiasm — in our customers, employees, and our investors. And from whatever will most inspire us to get up each morning, wanting to make it happen.

It therefore makes sense to look first for the inspiration that lies at the heart of inner leadership.

And once we find it, then we can think about how best to achieve it.

(But if nobody feels enthusiastic to make it happen, it isn’t going to happen.)

In times of change, the best way to find new ways forward is not by strategising deeper about the way the world used to work but by finding new inspiration for the way the world could be.

What inspires you most about what you are working on today? What would happen if you inspired yourself (and other key stakeholders) even more?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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