Creating Inspiration, part 3: Ask people to choose

In this time of change, your ability to create inspiration becomes essential, both for attracting people to support your project and inspiring them to do more.

There is no one ‘right’ way of achieving this. But every inspiring vision is built from the same seven building blocks. And the third of these blocks is to ask people to make a choice. Are they with you — or not?

At first sight it might seem to make sense to push everyone to say, “Yes.”

But the more you force people to support you, the more you will have to convince them, again and again, each time an issue arises. This saps your energy and time. And in this time of change there will be many issues that arise…

Far better to share your vision with them in a way that inspires them to make it their own. And then ask them to make a decision: are they with you or not?

If they choose to go with you then you know that you can count on their committed support, no matter what happens. Because now they have a priority of their own which happens to align with yours. And now they will be able to solve issues that arise without needing constant reassurance from you.

And if they choose “No” then you have saved yourself from many future distractions.

The CEOs of Unilever and Apple both understand this. In recent years both have effectively told their shareholders:

“This is where we are going. If you don’t like it, sell your stock.”

They know that investors who are not committed to travelling the same path with them will be a drain on their energy, resources, and time. And in a time of global change, energy, resources, and time are things they cannot afford to waste.

The same applies to managers, employees, customers, and anyone else whose support you need: are they on the bus or off the bus? Will they lead, follow, or get out of the way?

The more you can inspire people to decide for themselves that they want to travel with you through this imperfect, churning world, the more you will build a team that works to find the opportunities in every problem, instead of questioning each step of the way.

This is another step to making you, and themantifragile.

In your work, and in your personal life, have you actively chosen the direction you are travelling? Are you and the people around you truly motivated to follow the path you are on? What would happen if you changed that?

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

You can sign up to daily posts here.

You can also buy the book here and the workbook here.

(And remember: you can’t learn to swim just by reading about swimming, you also have to do the practice.)

Photo By Quinn Dombrowski via

Leave a Reply