Creating inspiration, part 4: show people they have a problem

Man attempting to recover a cabin that has fallen through the ice on a lake

The fourth ingredient for creating inspiration during times of change is to show people they have a problem.

At first glance this might seem like the wrong thing to do. After all, in a time of change, people are already likely to be feeling uncertain, nervous, or even afraid.

But by being clear about why they have a problem if things continue as they are, you give people the motivation they need to change. After all, if there’s no problem why change?

As Jack Welch used to say when he was CEO of General Electric:

“Face reality as it is, not as it was, or as you wish it to be.”

Remember that people who are nervous can react in unpredictable ways, so be sure to do this in a way that inspires rather than scares them.

But the more clearly you can show your audience, in their terms, how they have a problem they need to address, the more inspired and engaged they will be to work with you to build a solution.

Are you trying to create something new in the world? Do all your stakeholders understand why they have a problem if things continue as they are?

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

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Photo By PJ Nelson via

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