Craig Groeschel - Think Inspiration Not Motivation
Hey, welcome to another episode of the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast. Today's episode is part five of a five part masterclass called How the Best Leaders Think. We created this masterclass to compliment the teaching of my new book, "Winning The War In Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life". And I'm so thankful for the way this book is impacting leaders all over the world.
In fact, a couple of reviews from Amazon that meant a lot to me. Alyssa said, this is a top five books of all books that she's ever read. Alyssa, I love hearing that. And Phillip wrote on his review, "Craig Groeschel's approach on the battle in our mind is so refreshing, and like nothing I've ever read before. The principles he writes are so easy to understand, and this is a topic I've needed to read about for years, and I finally feel like I'm moving in the right direction and making progress. Craig, you've hit a grand slam on this one". Phillip, that makes me so happy because we know that our life and leadership is always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts.
And so, as leaders we are gonna win the war in our mind. And today in the final episode of our masterclass, we're gonna talk about the difference between inspiring and motivating. Both are important, but there is a really big difference. Now, before we dive into the new content, I wanna encourage you to go to life.church/leadershippodcast. Hit subscribe, and you'll also wanna get a copy of the leader guide for every new episode. In the leader guide we have detailed questions and exercises to help you grow in your leadership. Wherever you consume this content, please invite others to be a part of our leadership community. It means the world to me when you invite others because we know that everyone wins when the leader gets better. Okay, you ready? Let's go to the final part of how the best leaders think.
As leaders, we all wanna motivate our teams to do more. We all wanna inspire them to accomplish our mission. We wanna motivate and we want to inspire. Notice those two action words, motivate, inspire. I don't know if you've noticed this but most leaders use the words motivate and inspire interchangeably. While both are very, very important, I wanna point out that there is a difference between these two words. And that's why I wanna show you why the best leaders don't just think about motivating their teams, the best leaders want to inspire. Now, to be crystal clear, there is nothing wrong with motivating, motivate, motivate, motivate, motivate, I hope you're a very motivational leader. But motivating should be an early goal in developing leaders with a way more important goal to inspire.
And let's talk about the difference, and why it matters so much. Let's start with motivation. What is the root word of motivation? The root word for motivation is motive. In other words, to take an action or to motivate you need an external motive. A lot of people are motivated by the paycheck, right, if you show up for work, do your job, I'll motivate you with a paycheck, but if you don't show up to work, and don't do your job, you don't get the paycheck. There's an external motivation that brings about the desired result. There's an external force pushing you or pushing your team toward movement, or progress. The root of motivation is motive. Inspiration though, it has a different root. The root of inspiration or inspire is in spirit, in spirit. In other words, motivation comes from some external motive, inspiration though, comes from within. So, motivation pushes our team, but inspiration pulls our team.
Now, to explain it clearly, I promise this is not a play on words. The best leaders, remember, always think differently. If you ever find yourself like sick and tired or trying to keep your people motivated, there's a reason. What's the reason? Well, it's exhausting to continually try to find some external motivator to keep pushing these people to do something they don't really wanna do. And this might be one of the reasons why you're so worn out and frustrated as a leader. If that's what you have, lemme just kinda push you a little bit. It might be worth acknowledging that if you're constantly having to motivate the people around you, maybe it's because you have the wrong people around you.
So, if that's the case, the next logical idea that leaders tend to believe is this. Okay, instead of trying to motivate our team, we should look for self-motivated leaders. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. That's a great start, but it's still very incomplete. Lemme summarize. Our goal isn't just to motivate leaders, our goal isn't just to find self-motivated leaders, what is our goal? Our goal is to inspire self-motivated leaders toward a world changing mission. This is so important. And honestly, this shouldn't just matter to you, it really matters to your people. They don't wanna be just motivated, they wanna be inspired, they wanna be part of something that matters. In fact, there was a survey that found these results. That employees who described themselves as inspired are more than twice as productive as employees who call themselves satisfied. We don't wanna just think motivate. As leaders we think differently, we're gonna think inspire.
Now, when I use the word inspire you're probably thinking like, okay, I gotta do this inspirational rah rah speech. You might visualize the coach at halftime saying, give it your all, take the hill, conquer your enemy. You might think of Martin Luther King, Jr. "I've got a dream". You might see Mel Gibson with his blue face going "Freedom". Now, your next thought may be, that's not me, I'm not an inspirational speaker. And the truth is most people aren't. If you're not, I've got really, really good news for you. That charismatic speeches, they're only one tool used by inspirational leaders. The good news is it's not the most common tool nor is it the most important tool. In fact, we've found that inspirational leadership comes in many different shapes and sizes. Bain did some research where they surveyed 2000 employees and what they found were 33 different consistent attitudes that inspire team members. We'll link to these 33 different attributes in the notes, I'll give you a few of them.
If you just have an optimistic outlook, guess what? That's very inspirational to your team members. If you just say, we can do more, we believe that the best is yet to come, that is very inspirational. Another of the 33 is a posture of humility. What is pride? If you've ever worked for someone who's narcissistic, and arrogant, and prideful, that's very discouraging. But a humble leader who believes in their team, that's inspirational. A third quality is just setting the tone. You can probably do that. Here's the vision. Here's the direction. Here's where we're going, and then we follow through and hold people accountable. That is inspirational.
Another form of inspirational leadership is being generous with recognition. If you're a leader who notices and shows, I noticed what you're doing, and what you're doing matters, that inspires people. If you've ever worked for someone who consistently tells you thank you and well done, and here's where I see you winning, that inspires you. Consistent empathy actually matters if you're a good listener that inspires people, if you remember names and ask about their family, these are different traits that inspire. Now are you ready for this? According to Bain research, of the 33 consistent and different traits, all you need is one or two of those well-developed strengths to inspire. You don't need to be great at five things, seven things, nine things. If you're really, really good at one or two things that inspire, you can inspire your team to do more.
What's fascinating to me is this. Of all 33 traits, one stands above the rest. The most inspirational trait, are you ready for it? It is known as a leader who is centered. A centered leader. In fact, I talked in depth about centered leadership in episode 42 of the podcast. If you'd like to dive into that content, it's entitled Becoming the Centered Leader Your Team Craves. What does it mean to be centered? It simply means you're fully engaged in the mission of your organization. It's when you're leading from a state of assuredness. It's when you're internally aligned. What is a centered leader? One who's guided by values, driven by purpose, obsessed by mission. In other words if I can make it really, really, really, really simple, the best way to inspire others is to be inspired yourself.
The best way to inspire others is not to bring some external motivation, but to bring this internal pool of this is why you care so much. And if you're inspired about your mission, just your very centeredness, your values, the purpose, your obsession will bring others along with you to believe in and give their lives to the cause that you're giving your life to. So, let's do this, let's work to stay inspired. Remind yourself over and over again, tell yourself, change your thinking, because your life is moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts. If you don't like where your thoughts are taking you, change the way you think. Tell yourself you have influence. You're a leader. Like never before, our world needs humble, confident, bold, integrity infused and centered leaders.
Sure leadership matters, it really does. You have God given strengths, burning passions, innovative ideas, and the ability and responsibility to impact a world desperate for hope and healing. So what will you do? You'll change the way you think. You don't control people, you believe in them, you empower them, and you can do exponentially more together than you ever could on your own. You don't spend what you have. You invest your resources, expecting an exponential return. When you have problems, you think differently. Because you're a leader you don't just see problems, you see opportunities, leaders solve problems. And you don't just motivate, but you pull the best out of those around you. You cast vision, and inspire others to create a brighter future. To right wrongs, to fight for what is good, what is right, and what is true. Why? Because we are leaders. With everything in us we will lead the way with integrity, serve with humility, love sacrificially, and stand up when others back down.
As leaders we will grow and get better, because everyone wins when the leader gets better. Well, we know that motivating is always important but as leaders, we don't just motivate, we inspire. We bring the best from inside our leaders, and inspire them to do more than they ever thought possible. If the content from this master class was helpful to you, would you please invite others to experience all five parts? If you've missed any you can go back and pick up a previous session. We also have detailed notes available for you on the leader guide, just go to life.church/leadershippodcast. And if you haven't gotten a copy of the book yet, or you know somebody that might benefit from it, you may grab a copy and gift it to somebody. The title is "Winning The War In Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life". We will be back next month on the first Thursday of the month with a brand new episode. And I wanna do my best to bring content that's valuable to you because we know that everyone wins when the leader gets better.