If you want to create something new, your first task is to inspire yourself and other people to want to make it happen.
Or as the poet and pilot Antoine de Saint Exupéry put it:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
The more successfully you do this, the more inspired people will become to join you, stick with you, and deliver enthusiastic results.
And the way that you create this inspiration is with your own unique combination of seven basic building blocks:
- A clear definition of the problem
- A clear definition of the future you want to create
- Clearly defined first steps to get there
- Articulated in a way that is meaningful for your audience
- Expressed authentically by you
- Explaining why your vision matters (the principles, ideals, or values it upholds) and
- Asking your audience to make a decision: Are you with me?
When you combine these elements in a way that makes your audience long for your project to happen, you won’t need to assign tasks or ‘drum up people to collect wood’ — they will do all that for themselves.
And this applies just as much to yourself as it does to other people. It is another step to becoming antifragile in a time of change.
Are you and the people around you longing for the project you are working on to succeed? What would happen if you and they were?
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.)