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 times of change, people are already likely to be feeling uncertain, nervous, or even afraid.

But by making it clear how they have a problem if things continue as they are, you give people the motivation they need to do something different: 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.

And remember that 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 become to work with you to build a solution.

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

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

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