Inspirational Leaders Love What They Do

Want To Inspire Others? Start With Your "Why" I heard a great story the other day, and with apologies to the guy who told it to me, I'd like to share it with you. Long ago, the ancient age's version of a reporter was conducting "man on the street" interviews when he came upon a large stone masonry project. He asked the first stone layer he saw how he liked his job. "It's work," the stone layer said. "It's hard work. The stones are heavy, I have to work outside in the hot sun all day, and I doubt this wall will even be finished in my lifetime. But," he concluded with a shrug, "it pays the bills and keeps food on the table. It's work." And with that, he went back to building the wall. A few minutes and several steps later, the reporter came to another stone layer working on the same project. He asked him the same question. "I LOVE my job," the second stone layer said. "You know, it's hard work. The stones are heavy. I have to work outside in the hot sun all day, and I doubt this wall will even be finished in my lifetime. But you know what?" he asked, a twinkle in his eye. "I am building a cathedral. A cathedral! Who could have dreamed I could do that?" And with a different kind of shrug, he returned to his work. The difference, concluded the reporter, was "why." One stone layer was just in it for the money, for the personal economic necessity. The other had a reason for his work that was far greater than himself. They were both PERspiring... but only the second stone layer was INspiring. Why do you do what you do? If you want to be an inspirational leader, as do many of my coaching clients, you have to have a "why" akin to that of the second stone layer. It has to be bigger - far bigger - than just about you. If you're working to pay the bills, great. But if you want to be an inspirational leader, you need more than that. For years, my primary client was a the world's premier management consulting company. The firm's ranks were populated by the best and the brightest - by the future leaders of government and enterprise throughout the world. And it was my privilege to coach and inspire these bright young stars. When I first took that job, I have to confess, my "why" was mostly about me. I needed the money. But I quickly found out that the work was too demanding, the days too long, to justify doing it just on the basis of money. Fortunately, the more I worked with those folks, the more I was blessed with a much more compelling "why." When people asked me what I did, I was able to honestly say this: "I have a profound influence on an organization that has a profound influence on the entire world." Now, that's a "why." I love my current "why" even more, if that's possible. These days, I am helping people spit themselves out of the global economic wreck. I'm helping people out of their trade-time-for-money, wait-to-get-laid-off jobs. I create enlightened millionaires. I inspire people to live in health and vitality. I help people find "why." I'll tell you what: those are some great reasons to get out of bed in the morning. I haven't always been blessed with such a clear "why" - like everyone, I've played the role of "victim" a time or two in my life. But, I'm happy to say, I am no longer waiting for life to happen to me. And neither should you.


Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As Founding Consultant of Agents of Personal Change (APC), LLC, 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...

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