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  • Writer's pictureNancy Dering Mock

The Antidote: Unleashing the Human Spirit

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Any organization that is sapping the commitment, energy and creativity out of its people should look first to its leaders at all levels to unleash, not suppress, the human spirit within their employees. The leaders should be paying attention to the latent commitment and talent of their people. They should be evoking the human spirit, inspiring and drawing out positive emotions and energy in people But how?

Inspire More, Motivate Less: People want to be inspired through purpose and pride. What if leaders were to worry less about motivating, and more about inspiring?

Lead More, Lament Less: Nothing saps energy faster than negativity. What if leaders were to focus less on complaining and what's wrong and more on the positive in situations?

Model More, Regulate Less: The most powerful shaper of attitudes and behavior in the workplace is what the leaders demonstrate. What if leaders were to write fewer expectations and actually model what is expected?

Ignite More, Extinguish Less: Most people want to be contributors, to experience the joy of accomplishment. What if leaders spent less time extinguishing that spark and more time igniting it? What if leaders were expected to actually draw out and elevate the positive emotions, talent and energy in people?

In my experience, those organizations that are most successful at counteracting the vestiges of enormity, anonymity, bureaucracy and complexity are those that understand and integrate these four principles into their leadership style. They expect leaders to inspire, lead, model and ignite, unleashing the very best of what it means to be human.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. Have you experienced an organization that suppressed the talent of its people? Describe your experience.

  2. What are the leadership challenges of organizations that are too big, too anonymous and/or too bureaucratic?

  3. How do effective leaders inspire and ignite commitment?

  4. What are the implications for leaders? For you?

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