Inspiration. It’s contagious… but what is it?
Inspiration and motivation are popular buzzwords these days. In fact, we recently wrote You Know You’re A Millennial In The Workplace When... just to poke fun at how common pep talks about finding meaning in the workplace are.
This is exactly what our Founder & CEO Christopher Cabrera spoke about today in his keynote at CompCloud. As Chris said, our world is suffering from an extreme rise in worker disengagement— and there is a clear connection between the lack of meaning and money: Each year, uninspired employees cost businesses $550 Billion. (Source: Gallup)
See, it’s not enough to tell someone to be motivated. We’re trying to save you the agony of being fired, because we know you have great ideas. If you produce inspired work, people will take notice. And if they don’t notice, they’ll regret it.
Just Ask Our CEO's Former Boss
Xactly CEO Chris Cabrera started the show by asking attendees to share why they were at the conference. Some wanted to help their companies be more successful, some wanted to network, some to learn. Then, Chris shared his own reason for being at the conference.
Cabrera was inspired to found Xactly after he was fired by his prior employer. The company didn’t like his idea of bringing incentive compensation to as many companies as possible in the cloud.
"You’re as replaceable as a foot in a bucket of water," he was told; "the space you’ve occupied will be filled the second you’ve left."
For many, this would have been a crippling event. Nobody wants to be compared to a foot in a bucket, let alone labeled as instantly replaceable. But Chris had, and still has, that internal sense of inspiration that we’re talking about, so getting fired was instead the motivation for him to start a company. Without that moment of defeat, and the decision to overcome it by tapping into his own inspiration, Cabrera wouldn't have been on the stage today.
That’s the thing about inspiration. The meaning behind both positive and negative motivation can have serious monetary implications: Today, Xactly is the biggest competitor of Chris’ former employer’s. And cloud computing — precisely what that company called a pipe dream — is now slated to be worth almost $20B by 2020.
Make it Personal: Take Action
So, now it comes back to you. You might be thinking, “That sounds all well and good, but how meaningful can incentive compensation really be?” Your company has forecasts to meet and earnings to report, whether you feel inspired or not.
We get it. But we also want to challenge you a bit — because what you do does mean something. You may just not know it yet.
Drew Dudley hits this point right on the head in his awesome TED talk: Everyday Leadership. We all impact other people’s lives in meaningful ways, whether we know it or not. In his keynote, Cabrera encouraged attendees to interact, network, and share with one another. because more often than not our greatest inspiration comes from each other.
Maria Shared 5 Things You Can do to Lead an Inspired Life
After Cabrera's keynote, Maria Shriver joined the stage to share a dialogue about what it means to lead an inspired life. Shriver isn't just talk when it comes to inspiration. Hearing about the breadth and depth of her philanthropic work was incredibly inspirational and lead to many audience members questioning where they should begin when it comes to getting motivated and leading a life that makes them feel fulfilled.
Shriver is a firm believer in checking in with yourself. Ask, "Who are you at home? Who are you at work? Do they match up?" Below, are five more ways Shriver advises can help you lead an inspired life:
1. Set Your Intention to Live Such a Life
Be honest with yourself about what inspires you. Think about what interests you, motivates you, what you enjoy, what sets your hair on fire - what inspires you to be better, do better. Once you have it, go about creating that life.
2. Practice the Power of the Pause
Carve out time for yourself, and think about who you want to be, not what you want to be.
3. Be of Service
Whether it is at home or out in the world: Give back, volunteer, be a caretaker, and share your talents.
4. What's Good for Women is Good for Men
We all want the same thing: to lead a good life. Whatever the problem, we should all be part of the solution. We're not so different that we can't work together.
5. Define Success for Yourself
We live in a culture of comparisons. There will always be someone with with more - more money, more power, more love, more support. Measure yourself by your own yardstick. How do you define success? Create a definition and then work towards making it happen.
The Next Step: No More Mondays
Whether you heard Chris Cabrera and Maria Shriver speak in-person at CompCloud or have followed Chris’ story on your own, don’t let the motivation die with the next case of the Mondays. Stick with us as we explore inspiration and motivation in ways that matter and that will last. Most importantly, stick with yourself as you discover and explore how you can lead your most inspired life.