Creating Inspiration, part 3: ask people to choose

Yes or No

In a time of change, your ability to create inspiration is essential for attracting people to your project and motivating them to deliver results.

There is no fixed template for how you do this, but every inspiring vision is formed from the same basic ingredients or building blocks.

The third of these is to ask your audience to make a choice: will they support you?

It might seem to make sense to push them as hard as you can to get everyone to say “Yes.” But the more you steamroller people into supporting you, the more you will need to keep convincing them, over and over again, every time an issue arises. And in a time of change there will be a lot of issues…

Better to share your inspiring vision and let each person make up their own mind. If they decide “Yes” then you can count on their committed support, no matter what happens. If they say “No” then that is one less distraction for you in the future.

The CEOs of Unilever and Apple both understand this. In recent years both have effectively said to shareholders:

“This is where we are going. If you don’t like it, get out of the stock. Sell.”

They know that investors who are not committed to travelling the same path will be a drain on their energy and time. And in a time of change, that is energy and time they cannot afford.

The same applies to employees, customers, and anybody else whose support you need. Are they on the bus or off the bus? Will they lead, follow, or get out of the way?

The more you inspire people to travel with you through an imperfect, churning world, the more you will build a team that actively works with you to find the opportunities in every problem that arises, instead of questioning each step of the way.

How committed are you to the work you currently do? Are you on the bus, off the bus, or half-hearted? What about the people you work with: how committed are they? What would happen if you changed any of that?

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

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Photo By Quinn Dombrowski via

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