young_jumping_to_rock_cliftIf you’ve been reading our blog, you know we are huge fans of creating a business environment of empowerment. But we find there is too much confusion about the difference between motivation, inspiration and empowerment. In a nutshell, our perspective boils down to this:


  1. Motivation has an essence of Should.  Motivation has the foundation of never-ending pep talks, which really only last for so long. Motivation is PAST tense.  You don’t want to motivate your employees to work hard for you. You want to shine the light on the purpose and the intent.  Motivation is fear-based, with a good amount of convincing other people why they should want “it” and how to “get it.” Then the “motivator” begins to get frustrated, and starts reading one book after another in an attempt to get better at motivation tactics. Motivation puts the onus on the motivator.
  2. Inspiration has an essence of cheerleader. Once the cheerleader is away, the inspiration dissipates. Inspiration is the process of having to be mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative. Inspiration is only PRESENT tense. So the make or break of it is very much based on the “inspirer.” The inspirer constantly has to reignite the fire, to restock the toolbox with different, better tools to “help them along.” Inspiration is two-sided but ends the moment the second person is gone from the equation.
  3.  Empowerment has the essence of batteries included. There is very little continual conversation needed when you are working with an empowered soul. It has the tenor of “Hell yes!” They will do whatever it takes to create a path and plan to get to the goal while enrolling and leading helpers.  Empowerment is based in the PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE. There is nothing anybody has to do, say or be for empowerment to occur and/or thrive.  Empowered individuals live in a unique makeup of concurrently focusing on the past and present while also focusing on the future. The engine is already in place and can reignite on its own. Empowerment is one-sided and self-governing.

There is nothing wrong with motivation and/or inspiration. They just require consistent attention from the boss. Think about the past few conversations, interactions that you have had.  Were they based in motivation, inspiration or empowerment?

If you would like to learn more on how to create an empowered team, please join us  TOMORROW, March 5th at 1-2pm ET for a FREE one-hour webinar on “How to Have Tough Conversations With Your Team (or Your Boss): The 8 Keys to an Empowering Conversation.”  To reserve your seat click here.

Champions of your continued success,

Molly and Laney

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