Bill Hybels closed out the Leadership Summit with a talk about inspirational leadership.  He began by telling us that he had thought about this topic for many years and finally felt like he was ready to talk about it.

On a personal note I amazed and amused at how I still find Bill personally inspiring.  Even when I know he is going to say it; I still find myself getting an adrenalin rush when he says, “The local church is the hope of the world!”  So I was ready to listen when a leader like Bill who inspires me and so many says he wants to talk about inspirational leadership.  He focused his talk on the following four questions:

Question #1:  How much does inspiration and motivation really matter?  There is at least a 40% performance differential between a motivated and un-motivated employee.  The statistics are endless pointing out how motivated people not only make a greater impact to how un-motivated people use more sick days.  Bottom line:  motivation matters a lot!

Question #2:  Who’s job is it to keep me motivated?  Our followers deserve to have a motivated leader to follow. I need to be in an inspired state.  How do I stay in an inspired state?  Here are some things that I have learned about staying motivated:

  1. I need to be crystal clear about my mission.  When I’m clear about my calling I can stand almost anything.  It is my job to know God deeply enough and to seek after Him often enough, to stay on my knees long enough to make sure I know God’s calling in my life!  If you don’t know your calling, then you need to clear your calendar; find a time to spend time with God so you are absolutely crystal clear about your mission.
  2. I need to be crystal clear about my spiritual gifts.  What are your spiritual gifts?  They will tell you how to orient and carry out your mission.
  3. I need players on my team are inspiring people.  To be an inspiring person I need to be around inspiring people!  Get people around you that give you a positive emotional jolt!
  4. Read books that inspire me.
  5. Be around exceptionally inspiring people.  Sometimes that is through their writings.  You find time to read what they write and get inspired.  If you have access to
  6. Participate in exceptionally inspiring events.  The Leadership Summit is designed to be an exceptionally inspiring event.
  7. Pay attention to physical discipline.  Health experts agree that the average person can experience a 20% gain in energy if they are sticking to their physical disciplines.
  8. Pay attention to your work environment.  Your work space will either add to your motivation or will distract from it.
  9. Participate in inspiring recreation.  What is it that re-creates you?
  10. Practicing daily spiritual disciplines.  It is almost embarrassing to admit how much it lifts my spirit when I feel like I have heard from God.  Saturation and reflection on the word of God inspires me!

Question #3:  What is the best way to inspire the people around me?  The single most powerful way to motivate the people around you and to pump them up is to live a motivated life around them and in front of them.  This is where it starts!  Your motivation level is a force multiplier!  The daily grind will get fun again when you are willing to take full responsibility for your own inspiration level.  Beyond your example, how do you motivate people?  Here is how to motivate those around you:

  1. Connect everyone you lead to a compelling cause. For example:  “We are not just building buildings, we are building homes for people to raise their kids in.”
  2. Learn the inspiration language of your team members and speak it.  People want to be inspired in different ways.  Some people respond to public praise and others prefer gifts and plaques others want to know how it impacts you.
  3. We have to identify and reduce every de-motivating dynamic around. Frederick Herzberg did a study on job satisfaction that showed that highly motivated employees will be de-motivated if the de-motivating dynamics are not addressed and resolved.
  4. Celebrate every sign of progress.  Divide your long term goals into smaller achievable goals so that you can celebrate progress every week, month or quarter.

Question #4:  What would a church look like if every person in a church was inspired?  Why did God put that leadership gift in you?  To help a local church be motivated and inspired. And inspired, motivated churches will change people and communities for eternity.

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