Craig Groeschel - How to Inspire Your Team
Hey before we dive into the new content this month, I am really excited to tell you about a brand new book that I've written releasing this month. It's called Hope in the Dark, Believing God is Good When Life is Not. I think it's clear from the title, but just to be clear this is not a leadership book and honestly it's not for everyone. If your life is great, if everything's up and to the right, if you have no spiritual questions this book is not for you. This is a book for people that are hurting, that are confused, that feel desperate and I pray it will speak to a lot of people. You can get it anywhere books are sold. You can go to craiggroeschel.com and find out information. It's called Hope in the Dark.
Let's now go to brand new content in this month's leadership podcast. This is the Craig Groeschel Leadership podcast. Hey welcome back to another episode of the Craig Groeschel Leadership podcast where we are crazy passionate about building great leaders because we know that when the leader gets better everyone gets better. If you're new with us we release a brand new leadership podcast on the first Thursday of every single month. And I want to say a very sincere thank you to those of you who are sharing the content, inviting others to be a part of the leadership community.
If this is helpful to you I would love it if you would invite other people. Also if you rate it or review it that's very helpful to give us more visibility. If you'd like more information let me give you a site you can go to. You can go to life.church/leadershippodcast, life.church/leadershippodcast. At that site you can download the leader's guide. I know a lot of you like to go over this content with your team and that will give you very detailed notes, we call it the leader's guide. You can also subscribe at out site and we will email you every single month the leader's guide. You can ask questions or share a story, life.church/leadershippodcast.
Now two weeks from today we've got a bonus episode. I'm going to interview the author of one of my favorite books I've read recently. His name is Chris Voss. He is a 24 year veteran of the FBI. He was the lead hostage negotiator. His book is called Never Split the Difference, Negotiating as If Your Life Depends on It. It's an incredible book and I promise you the interview with Chris will add value. Let's dive into new content now. Are you ready, let's go. According to an IBM study of 1700 CEOs in 64 different countries, one of the top three leadership qualities is, the ability to inspire people to action. The ability to inspire.
You know this if you've ever worked anywhere and served under an inspirational leader you felt enthused, you felt encouraged, you were energized, motivated, engaged and you felt appreciated. If you worked for someone who was inspirational you knew that what you did mattered and you believed you were making a difference. Now even though it's one of the top three most important leadership qualities as leaders most of us have a lot of room to improve. In fact according to a survey with Economist Intelligent Unit, less than one half of employees agree or strongly agree that their leaders are inspiring. Less than one half of the people that would work in our organizations, if the odds are true for us, less than one half think that we are inspiring them to be a part of something really meaningful.
So in this episode I want to talk to you about how to inspire your team. Now if you'll notice I use the word inspire, not the word motivate. Both are very important, but they're also very, very different. To motivate is never bad. In fact I did a whole episode called Motivating Your Team. If you want to listen to it just Google my name and Motivating Your Team, it will be right there. But we're talking about something different than motivating, we're talking about inspiring. If I'm motivating myself what am I doing? I'm usually psyching myself up to do something I would rather not do. I'm trying to motivate myself to do something I'm not naturally passionate about. I might try to motivate myself to get up early or to stay late. You might motivate yourself to be disciplined. I'm going to eat better when I'd rather eat chocolate or whatever it is.
To inspire is different than to motivate. The word inspire comes from the words in spirit. It implies something that is internal. In other words motivating generally feels like pushing. I'm going to motivate you, I'm going to push you to do more. Inspiring is more of a pulling. I want to help pull more of the good that's already inside of you. In fact I like what Steve Jobs said. Jobs said if you're working on something you really care about you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. You are inspired. So how do we do it? Let's get practical, how do we inspire?
Now when I use the word inspire chances are you may be thinking about someone giving an inspirational speech. It's the half-time, give it your all, take the hill, conquer the enemy, it's Martin Luther King, Jr. I have a dream, it's Mel Gibson with the blue face in Braveheart, like freedom or whatever. And your next thought might be well that's not me. I'm not naturally good at doing that. The great news is, and I hope you'll embrace this, is that charismatic speeches are only one tool used by inspirational leaders. It's not the most common tool and it's not the most important tool. We have to recognize that inspirational leaders come in all shapes and styles. The ability to inspire is not a gift that you're born with, it's actually a skill that you can learn. In other words inspirational leaders are made, not born.
So what do I want to accomplish in our time together? What I want to do is help you become self-aware of your own approach, the way that you uniquely can inspire other people to action and then once you discover your unique style, what we want to do is we want to improve these qualities that you may not even know that you have. So here's a question, how do you best inspire, how do you do it? To answer this question there's fascinating research performed by the Bain Company. The Bain Company surveyed two thousand employees and they asked what qualities do your coworkers or leaders embody that regularly inspire you. Two thousand people responded to the survey. The question was what do the people that you work with do that would inspire you.
Now the results of this study are great news to all of us. What they found was 33 different, yet consistently mentioned traits of leaders that inspired. Not inspirational speeches, but 33 different and consistent traits that naturally inspire. The good news is you don't have to be Mel Gibson with the blue face to inspire. If you want all 33, just request the leader's guide. We'll send you the link and you can look at the article and look at all 33. I'm going to try to make it really simple. Bain breaks it into four main categories. 33 different traits in four categories. Category number one is developing inner resources. It's people who help develop others. Category number two is setting the tone. As a leader you just come in set the tone. Number three it's connecting with people. You can inspire by connecting. And category number four is leading the team. Four big main categories. Developing inner resources, setting the tone, connecting with people, leading the team.
Let me give you a few of the 33 traits that fall under these categories. Developing inner resources, how do you inspire? Well it may be as a leader you have emotional self-awareness. If you don't that is demotivating. If you do that can be very inspirational. You may also lead with emotional expression that helps to inspire. You may be very optimistic. You come in and you're building a positive culture. That's inspirational. Category number two is setting the tone. Ask yourself are you good at this. Maybe just following through with what you said you were going to do, that is inspirational to people.
Another category is being unselfish, thinking of others is inspirational. Showing recognition, gratitude and appreciation. Setting the tone saying we're going to appreciate our team that is inspirational. Category number three, connecting with people. If you are humble that is an inspirational trait. Pride demotivates, humility inspires. If you're empathetic, you think about others, you care about them. If you listen to others and you're engaged in their lives that's inspirational. Category number four, leading the team. Focus, a focused leader is an inspirational leader. A visionary leader, someone who says here's where we're going, that's inspirational. An empowering leader, someone who gives away authority, this is something that inspires people.
Four big categories, 33 different traits. Just request the leader's guide and we'll send it to you and you can look at all 33 and find out which ones you're uniquely gifted to do. You may say well I'm not quite sure. Am I good at one or two things. Here's the amazing news. According to the research, get ready for this, all you need is one or two well-developed strengths to inspire. You don't need ten, you don't need 15. If you have one or two that you're really, really good at you can be an inspirational leader. Lot of content, let's take a breather.
What I want you to do, and a big assignment is going to be this, for you to determine what are your top three qualities. What are the top three qualities that you as a leader have that inspire others to action. You can inspire by building great systems, by leading with a collaborative spirit, by having a servant's heart, by leading with a can-do attitude. If you have an empowering spirit, visionary ideas. Listening to and valuing the ideas of the people that you lead with, all of these things can help you be inspirational. I would suggest you look at the list of 33 and work to identify your top three.
Now if you're working with a team this is an amazing team exercise. You can ask those around you to help you identify your top three because here's the reality, you're often great at some area that you don't even know that you're great at. It's just so second nature to you that you don't really understand the value of what you do brings inspiration to the people around you. Or you may be good at it, but you don't just know how important it is and knowing from others will help you to be more regular and consistent in expressing and using that tool. Then what you want to do when you recognize it is you want to build on it and become great at using this as a tool to inspire others.
So, for example, if someone from a distance tried to asses my inspirational leadership. In other words maybe you don't know me well. You might say what do I think Craig's good at in inspiring. A lot of people might say it's the big speech, the rally cry or whatever, and I want to say right now that's part of it, but that's a very small part of what I do in my organization to inspire. I only do that about four times a year. It's not what you do occasionally that inspires, it's what you do consistently. Based on my study and talking to people around me there's three things I do that regularly inspire. One is I'm incredibly consistent. For over two decades I work consistently. I'm not all over charts, I just deliver, deliver, deliver. I'm consistent, that's actually inspirational. Two is I'm focused. I attack until it's done. I'm not easily distracted, I don't give up.
Number three I'm an empowering leader. In other words I really believe in people. I trust, I help them soar, I cheer them on. Those in my opinion would be the top three things that I do to inspire. You're going to want to look at your own leadership. Remember what you do consistently is what inspires, not what you do occasionally. What would be your top three? Now of all the different qualities, and this is really important, the Bain research shows there is one quality that stands above the rest as by far the most important.
The most important quality of an inspirational leader is what they call centeredness, centeredness. What is being centered as a leader? It's leading from a state of assuredness or internal alignment. It's a leader who's guided by values, driven by purpose, obsessed by a mission. It's someone who's not chasing a competitor, it's someone who's living a calling. It's a leader that's not trying to prove something, but is leading out of the heart of passion. In other words this leader, his or her happiness isn't based on external circumstances, but it's based on living according to well-defined internal values. Being centered, secure, confident is the most inspirational quality as a leader.
Now most employees are never going to say oh my gosh my boss is so centered. You know we finally have a centered leader. They don't say it, but they feel it. They don't say it, but they feel it. The absence of a centered leader demotivates. The presence of it inspires. What do you want to do? You want to work to be centered, to know your strengths. Then you want to leverage your inspirational strengths to help your team feel and believe that they're a part of something bigger than any of you. Let me say it again. You want to discover your strengths, you want to work to be centered, then you want to leverage your inspirational strengths to help your team feel and believe that they're a part of something bigger than any of you.
Let's talk about the word feel for a minute. How do your employees, how do your volunteers, how do the people on your team feel? Some leaders would say well I don't really care how they feel, you should care, why? Facts do not inspire people to action. What does, emotion inspires people to action. And emotions are born out of feelings. There's three distinct levels of feelings on a job and each one builds on the other. In other words you can't have level three without level one and level two.
What are the levels of feeling? This is important, number one is an employee would say I feel satisfied and what that means is this team member would say I have the tools and the freedom to perform and I'm recognized and compensated fairly. I feel satisfied. Then level two is better, I feel engaged. At level two this person would say I'm part of a team. I've got the ability to grow. I'm making a difference, I'm doing something that I believe is valuable.
Level one I feel satisfied, level two I feel engaged, level three this is where we want to be, I feel inspired. I'm not just satisfied, I'm not just engaged, but I'm drawing deep and lasting meaning from the work that I do. I perform it with purpose and passion. This isn't just a job, this is a calling. Three levels of feelings. How do your team members feel? Satisfied, engaged or inspired? Why does this matter? Well this is important, employees who describe themselves as inspired are more than twice as productive as employees who call themselves satisfied.
Let that sink in. Employees who describe themselves as inspired are more than twice as productive as employees who call themselves satisfied. When they are inspired what are you going to have? You're going to have lower turnover, higher job satisfaction, more productivity, increased loyalties. They will give their very best because it isn't a job, it's a mission, it's a calling. What do we need, the bottom line, we want to be centered. To truly inspire your team you have to live an inspired life. We are leading from a deep place of centeredness. This isn't just for us, we're on a mission to do something incredible. When you're a centered leader you know clearly what you're here to accomplish. You care about the people around you and you live and embody the vision.
Remember, you don't have to be great at inspirational speeches, you can be, but your very presence, your essence, who you are, that is what inspires most. So let's review and then we've got two critical application questions. Let's review, one of the top three leadership qualities is the ability to inspire. This is different than motivating. Motivating is more pushing, inspiring is pulling what's inside someone. How do we do it? Well the ability to inspire is not a gift that we're born with, it's a skill that you can learn. Bain research shows there's 33 different yet consistently mentioned traits of leaders that inspire. Here's a few of them, you can inspire with emotional expression, positive attitude, keeping your word, appreciating your team, leading with humility, expressing empathy, directing your team, listening and valuing those around you.
All you need is one or two well developed strengths to inspire. What you're going to do is discover what they are. Then leverage your inspirational strengths to help your team feel and believe they're a part of something bigger than any of you. Why do we care about feelings? Because facts don't inspire people to action, emotions do and emotions are born out of feelings. We want them to grow in their levels of feeling, not just satisfied, not just engaged, but we want them inspired because those who are inspired they're twice as productive as those who are satisfied.
Now remember, the most important quality is that we are centered as a leader. We're leading from a state of assuredness, from internal alignment. We're guided by values, driven by purpose, obsessed by the mission. No one's going to say oh my gosh my boss is finally centered. They won't say it, but they feel it. The absence demotivates, the presence of it inspires. To truly inspire our team what are we going to do? We're going to live an inspired life. We have purpose, calling and vision. Two questions for application. Question number one, what are your three most inspirational qualities? Remember you want all 33 just go to life.church/leadershippodcast. We'll send you the guide and you can look at those, determine yours, it's really important.
And then number two, what can you do specifically to leverage those qualities to consistently inspire your team? What can you do specifically to leverage those qualities to consistently inspire your team? In other words for you it might be you're writing notes of appreciation, it might be you're walking around to value the people that you see, it might be that you send weekly videos expressing your care or communicating vision. Maybe you take team members to lunch or find a new way to hear from them, but what you want to do is you really want to determine what you do best and then how you can leverage and to show that value to your team consistently.
Now thank you again for listening. I want to remind you that two weeks from now we have the bonus episode. You're going to love it, it's a crazy helpful interview with Christ Voss. His book is Never Split the Difference, How to Negotiate as if Your Life Depends on It. Again subscribe to this. Thank you for rating it, for reviewing it, for inviting others to be a part of our community. Remember you don't have to know it all to be a great leader. Just be yourself because people would rather follow a leader who's always real than one who's always right.