(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


When you inspire someone you evoke a feeling in them which calls them to action. An inspired person wants to accomplish things.

When you motivate someone you cause them to perform some behavior. Motivation takes energy on your part and frequently the person being motivated will not sustain their actions without repeated input from you.

A manager may motivate employees, but results will be harder to achieve and the creative resources which exist in each person will not be tapped. People will tend to do only what they are told to do.

Motivation comes from the outside. Inspired people act from the inside.

To inspire others, first have a clear vision and a passion for the endeavor. When you do, people can be inspired by you without you even knowing it. An effective leader is an inspiring leader who draws out the best in their people.


Copyright 2001 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.