INSPIRATION – Who Inspires You?

I recall that a few years ago, I had been invited to run an afternoon coaching session on Leadership in Leeds. With the train only half an hour away from my destination, the snow began to fall very heavily and my thoughts turned to whether I would be getting back to London that evening.

However, at lunch, I sat opposite a young man of 21 from Scotland who was helping young people in his local area from getting into any form of trouble. The more he talked, the more he made me realise just what an inspiration he must be to all those young people. This was even more powerful as his background had been one where he had got into trouble when he was their age.

He went on to tell me that he was off that summer to either Africa or Cambodia to help young people in their own country. At 21, he was talking with such passion that he was a true inspiration to me. The thought of snow just disappeared.

Quite ironically really, when you think that I had been invited to talk at this conference, for the third consecutive year, to inspire twenty five young people, including him.

Back in 1902 Thomas Edison, said “Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. This young man had certainly put in the hours of work to get him to where he was, and his future was undoubtedly to be filled with huge success, and an inspiration to lots of young people.

So, who inspires you? I have heard many people talk about their mum or dad or both. Others have spoken about a particular teacher from when they went to school. Is it someone at FashionCapital? It is worth thinking about what it is that makes someone an inspiration to others? Is it the words that they actually say? Is it positive encouragement or praise when you do something well?

Do you think that you are an inspiration to someone, or even more than one person? Are these people who work for you, or are part of your team? If you

have children, are you an inspiration to them, and if so, how does that help them? Do they now possess great social skills, or will your inspiration make them more successful?

If you do not believe that you are an inspiration to someone, but would like to be, what do you think you need to do to become inspirational?

I suppose that if you think about today’s top business people or sports stars, they will all be able to tell you about someone, or even more than one person, who was inspirational to them, and made them who they are today. The words “role model” come to mind, and therefore not only will successful people tell you about their role models, but young people aspiring to be a top business person or top sports star, will name you a role model who inspires them to greater heights.

Back to the conference, and when I was talking there the last time, one of the female delegates sent me an email the very next day, saying how I had inspired her so much that she had clearly thought about the path that she needed to follow for the next five years. Quite ironically, I met up with her a few weeks ago when she was in London, and once again she spoke about that time that I’d been an inspiration to her, and she had now started to inspire other young people to change their lives and move them forward to greater heights.

That’s inspiration that leads to action.

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