How to inspire yourself and others

About three years ago I was told a personal story by someone I consider to be a market leader.

A senior position came up in his company, and he applied for it. While he was encouraged to apply, he was told that the role would likely go to someone else.

He asked why and was provided with critical feedback from the selection panel.

He took the feedback and addressed everything in two ways. Firstly, he looked to develop the skills, experience and behaviours that he was told were lacking and secondly, he reported back to the selection panel on how he had applied their feedback, providing evidence of his success and the impact on the organisation.

He got the job and not only did he get the job but he rocked it and has since been promoted again.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Not long after he told me the story a client of mine was going through a company restructure and had been asked to re-apply for his role.

He was considering not applying for his role, and opting out of the organisation. His thinking was that if his manager had truly wanted him in the role, he wouldn’t have been asked to re-apply.

I told him that wasn’t necessarily true. When companies go through restructure, managers often have no other choice than asking their teams to re-apply for their roles.

Then I shared the story of the first manager, who was told that he wouldn’t receive the promotion he desired, and rather than taking “no” for an answer, he asked for feedback, acted on it, and achieved the result he desired.

The second manager went on to re-apply for his role and was successful.  

These two stories mean a lot to me because they remind me that inspiration comes from many different places. The first manager inspired me through his behaviour and his story, and without knowing it his story went on to inspire someone he’d never met before.

I personally love it that the first manager doesn’t even know that he inspired the career of someone he never met. 

There’s a lot of grinding that goes into my work and I’m reminding myself of the above story because I know inspiration will come in the following ways. By:

  • Repeating positive behaviours
  • Seeking feedback and acting upon it
  • Deliberately spending time with people who inspire me
  • Continuing to learn, listen and read inspiring content and
  • Sharing stories and strategies to help others be productive and happy at work.

Let us know your feedback. I love hearing from you.

Keep moving forward. Be kind to yourself. I believe in you.


Cholena Orr

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