Other people have been blogging for a LOT longer than I have. I’ve long thought, I should blog. I have a lot going on in my head, when I get into conversations with people some interesting stuff comes out of those discussions. Why the heck I haven’t before now is one of those things, but I’ll call it up to now I’ve held a mild aspiration.
Now though, I’m inspired.
Inspired by @haylsbrown; @naturalgrump; @mentormullarky; @dougshaw1; and others. I’m now connected to some people who blog with the art of a songwriter, the passion of a poet and the guile of a journalist. So why have I decided to FINALLY get on the blogwagon..? I’ve already used the word once – but will say it again. I’ve been INSPIRED. Inspired by most of the blogs I’ve seen to date and been signposted to via tweets.
And this emotional, euphoric, charged state is the topic of this, my very first blog.
Inspiration and being inspired – in learning, in developing, in changing, in strengthening, in moving, in succeeding. I also wanted my first blog to be (a little) inspirational so here goes.
My story starts with being inspired to act.
Have you ever found yourself sat in a training course or leadership programme and thought – “I think this topic, the tutor, the issue could have been put together just for me…” In 2001 I found myself in that situation. A Senior Leader from my (then) organisation was opening a leadership event I was at. I felt like I’d not felt in a training event for a long time. Like this was the one I’d been looking for. What inspired me and why?
The call to action was about what some of us might label authentic leadership. Now don’t baulk at that – I’m using this to give a handle on being true to yourself in leading yourself and others to success.
It was as though the opening speech had been written to chime with things I’d been grappling with as I started my most senior role to date. My desire to lead myself and others in a way I felt was best – not on what others did or said I should do. So during the course of this 30-40 minutes opening, I didn’t ask any questions when the Q&A session ensued, I was in contemplative mode and needed to think things through. The rest of the day was a mix of exercises, workshop-type sessions, some insight sharing and a late finish. It was a residential event, so we were all meeting socially afterwards and to my delight, also there still was the source of my contemplative state – the Senior Leader who’d opened the event.
I had now moved on from contemplative and was in re-inspired mode. Fired up mode, driven mode. So inspired was I that I chose to strike up a conversation with said Senior Leader – let’s call her Helen. I told Helen – with no tactical motives – how inspired I was by what she had said. By how I felt and that for the first time in my career, I was being encouraged to be me, within a professional frame with performance and behavioural expectations of course. I found the reaction to my feedback most interesting. Helen appeared to enjoy the fact that I’d shared how inspired I was. We talked some more, and the conversation got more interesting. I was even MORE inspired now.
The day went into day 2 and I was continued to be inspired bythis event so that at the conclusion, I did more contemplation, more planning and more enhancements to the way I acted. I wanted to be me, but different, a better me, a more determined me. I wanted to take advantage of all the things I could get a hold of and this blissful state of affairs continued for several months on my return to the day job.
Then I re-discovered some of the enemies of inspiration - envy; egos; misunderstanding; and blockages.
So I needed some inspiration again, as despite being me in a leading role, others weren’t as enthused by my authenticity as I was. I went to speak to Helen. I asked if she’d mentor me. It was a bold request as Helen was very busy and several roles higher than me, and I’d not asked my own boss for permission. Helen agreed and we entered into a mentoring relationship.
Again, I discovered inspiration. That my problems and issues mattered and were real and present in holding me back or creating less desirable outcomes. And when the relationship with a new boss wasn’t working, I was inspired to think wider – and I did. And I found HR.
So I’ll always be grateful to Helen for helping me find my place. But I also have to thank inspiration. I know inspiration isn’t an entity like Helen or that course, but I sought out a new path, was driven to change, take risks, be bold, stay authentic, challenge my own and others thinking – because I was inspired.
So I guess in order to make this blog do that I thought I would set out a couple of questions to leave you with and hopefully elicit some responses, dialogue and / or new thinking.
1. When was the last time you were inspired – either through a planned act or unplanned event? What did that “inspirational interlude” mean to you, cause you to do and lead you to?
2. When was the last time you NEEDED inspiration and where did you get it? What did it teach you about yourself, a topic / issue or a situation?
3. How could YOU be more inspirational to others? Inspiring people is like giving them a can of an emotional energy drink – the energy to: learn, think through, drive on, change, alter courses, challenge, back off, resume – inspiring people helps them learn.
So there you have it. The first Adjusted Development blog from me. It’s about inspiration I wanted it to have some degree of inspiration in itself and I feel quite inspired for having done this. Blogtastic thanks for reading – I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences on being inspired.