Creating inspiration, part 4: show there is a problem

Man attempting to pull a cabin out of a lake where it has fallen through the iceThe 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 the way they are, you give people the motivation they need to change. After all, why change if there’s no problem?

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 them rather than scares them.

Counterintuitively, 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 the situation continues as it is?

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

You can sign up to daily posts here.

Photo By PJ Nelson via

Leave a Reply