In this time of churning and change, your ability to inspire yourself and others becomes essential.
There is no one right way of doing this. But there are seven standard building blocks that you can combine and apply in your own way.
The first of these building blocks is to speak with your own authentic voice.
Queen Elizabeth I of England provides a good example. Four hundred years ago she faced a bigger challenge than you or I probably ever will. Many of her own people thought she could not rule, simply because she was a woman. Some of them had even tried to kill her. And then a major foreign power decided to attack and invade her lands.
Faced with these multiple threats, Elizabeth could simply have run away. Or she might have tried to bluff her way through. Instead, she chose to overcome these challenges by speaking her authentic truth.
Wearing armour (unheard of for a woman) she rode “like some Amazonian empress” into the middle of her assembled army — many of whom would have loved to see her dead or gone — accompanied by an escort of just six men and two page boys.
Here, at the mercy of several thousand heavily armed troops, she spoke clearly and authentically what became her most famous words:
“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king — and of a king of England too!”
Her authenticity won her audience over.
And once they had decided to listen to her then they listened to what she had to say. And once they had heard what she had to say then they did what needed to be done. The invader was repulsed and Elizabeth I has gone down in history as one of the greatest rulers of her country.
When we speak authentically, other people hear it and know who we are. Our words then resonate most strongly with the people who will join us for the long haul. And when we have an inspired team, working together and pulling in the same direction, we can achieve almost anything.
In your life and in your work, do you say what is authentically true for you? What outcomes does that create? What would happen if you spoke more of your authentic truth — first to yourself and then to others?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)