Use Your Personal Resources To Ignite Others

by Michael D. Hume, M.S.

A lot of people (including several of my clients and former clients) are starting businesses these days; others are simply determined to develop more inspirational leadership in their management roles. Either way, when you can inspire the best in others, you’ll be a sought-after leader.

You have a “TEAM” of personal resources available to you as you go about developing (and demonstrating) inspirational leadership, and you’ll want to make sure to engage all of those resources. I’m referring to your Time, Energy, Attention, and (in the case of the entrepreneurs among you) Money.

In order to inspire others, it’s important that they see you investing your time in them. You don’t have unlimited time (indeed, your entire TEAM of personal resources is limited), so you have to choose wisely how to invest your hours and minutes. But you will never be seen as an inspirational leader by those who experience you in a transactional manner. So think about how you can maximize the effectiveness of your “face time” with those you mean to inspire. Listen more than you talk. Ask about the other person, both professionally and personally. Remember what she told you last time about what’s going on in her life (I had a colleague who went so far as to keep index cards on all his teammates, which he updated every time he visited with them and reviewed regularly). Open up about what’s going on with you, too – both professionally and personally. Show empathy. With practice, you’ll find you can often accomplish all (or most) of those key aims in even the briefest interaction.

Don’t run out of gas for the “people side” of your work… it’s immediately obvious to folks when you don’t have enough energy to be authentic with them. I had a client once who tended to “light up” when she was speaking about herself and her projects, but couldn’t muster the energy to send even the most cordial non-verbals when it was the other person’s turn to speak. Of course, she didn’t realize it, but she was sending a horrible message – one of disinterest, and even contempt – and sending it loudly (non-verbals have that power). It only took one or two sessions of videotaping to “cure” her – she was so dismayed at watching herself interact with colleagues that she changed her manner dramatically, almost overnight, and soon developed a new reputation for investing positive energy in her teammates.

As a leader, you send huge cues to your folks by the things to which you choose to give your attention. Watch it. Don’t say something’s important and then let folks think you never give it a second thought. Accordingly, don’t claim to be a “real people guy” when you obviously ignore certain people (or certain aspects of people). It may be tough to allocate your attention to the right folks at the right time, but a consistent effort will pay big dividends – and people tend to give you credit for trying, if your efforts are visible enough.

Finally, if you own the business, spend the money to run things right. Make sure your folks have enough of the right equipment to get the job done well, and to free them to do their best work. Years ago, when I was a professional stage actor, my colleagues and I could spot the good theaters (and producers) a mile away, less by what they paid us (it was never enough) and more by what they invested in the “production values” of the show – the sets, the lighting, the costumes, and so forth. We wanted to be part of a great show, something that would really entertain and move our patrons… and good acting is so much better when it takes place within a framework of high production values. Think about your business, and the “production values” you’ve put together. Is it an inspiring package?

Mastery of the TEAM of personal resources is a game you can learn to play, and play to win. It’s what separates the average managers from the truly inspirational leaders…. and if you want to be on the right team, learn to bring your “A” game.

 Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As part of his inspirational leadership mission, he coaches executives and leaders in growing their personal sense of well-being through wealth creation and management, along with personal vitality.Those with an entrepreneurial spirit who want to make money “one less thing to worry about” can learn more about working with Michael at wanting to jump-start their vitality can browse through the best (and most travel-friendly) nutraceuticals on the market at and his wife, Kathryn, divide their time between homes in California and Colorado. They are very proud of their offspring, who grew up to include a homemaker, a rock star, a service talent, and a television expert. Two grandchildren also warm their hearts! Visit Michael’s web site at
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