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Why Inspiration Matters

February 23, 2021

ADDO is the Latin word for inspire.

While we have always believed the world needs inspiration, I have to admit there have been times we’ve downplayed it to our peers, customers, or clients. Because inspiration feels like the fluffy stuff to some people, we’ve often opted for language that feels stronger—more business-like.

In 2021, we are doubling down on inspiration. I know inspiration is needed more now than ever before, and we are on a crusade to help people understand its importance and leverage it in their own organizations. 

This week, I’m going to make the case for inspiration and help you understand why it’s so important. Next week, I’ll be back with practical ways to leverage it in your own organization. 

First, I want to emphasize this fact: inspiration isn’t something intangible. It’s not something you can’t measure. And it certainly isn’t soft.

Psychologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot from the University of Pennsylvania created the inspiration scale—a tool that measures the rate a person experiences inspiration in their everyday lives. This scale not only allowed them to determine who was inspired regularly, but also the impact this inspiration had on their personal and professional lives. 

Scott Kaufman examined their findings and took them to the next level in his Harvard Business review article “Why Inspiration Matters.” He noticed that people who scored higher on the inspiration scale accomplished more. They had a stronger drive to master their work and were naturally more motivated, confident, and creative. In other words, Kaufman found inspiration drastically increases individual performance, and in turn, the success of our businesses!

Inspiration drastically increases individual performance, and in turn, the success of our businesses!

Perhaps the most important reason inspired individuals yield more positive results is that they are able to connect the mundane to the meaningful. When inspired, an individual is able to see how their daily tasks are helping them work toward a larger goal.

So if we know we can measure inspiration, and we also know being inspired helps us perform at a higher level, every single business, organization, and leader should be committed to regularly inspiring their individuals and teams. Take this example from one of NASA’s most famous missions. 

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that the United States would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Shortly after Kennedy’s famous Congressional announcement, he visited NASA’s headquarters for the first time. The president was taken on a tour of the facility, and as he walked around, he met a janitor who was mopping the floor. When Kennedy asked him what he did for NASA, the janitor quickly responded, “I am helping put a man on the moon!” That janitor clearly understood that keeping NASA’s facilities clean was vital to helping the organization meet its ultimate goal. This janitor was inspired by President Kennedy’s vision and eager to be a part of the work NASA was doing.

Inspiration helps individuals and teams achieve results. There are so many business metrics that are easy to measure and to fixate on improving, but increasing inspiration is the often overlooked ingredient that can take organizations from ordinary to extraordinary.

If you’re someone who always believed inspiration matters, I hope that you’re reminded and encouraged. Hopefully this blog post provides you the ammunition you need to show others how desperately we need individuals to be inspired. 

On the other hand, if you’ve been a bit of an inspiration skeptic, my hope is you’ll begin to understand how inspiration can make a tangible difference on the performance of your team and success of your organization.

The world needs more inspiration, and that’s the reason ADDO exists. 


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