RSS Motivation by Inspiration, Part I

I’ve heard it said that all motivation is self-motivation. Personally, I believe that to be true. It’s also been said that one of the most important tasks of a leader is to motivate their team members to accomplish specific organizational or individual goals. To some this might appear to be a difficult, if not a downright impossible task, because leaders must find ways to motivate individuals who may lack the passion or confidence to demonstrate strong initiative.

In these circumstances, what can or should a leader do?

Well, we all know there is no substitute for hiring the right person for the job. Bringing individuals into your organization with both the requisite skills and the necessary motivation to complement your existing team usually produces positive results.

I prefer to think that the role of a leader isn’t necessarily to motivate, but rather to inspire individuals to tap into their own motivations. I understand to some this may be a matter of semantics; however, to me the distinction is an important one.

If leaders are expected to motivate, and individual team members don’t follow suit, then in my mind the failure rests with the leader not the employee. Alternatively, if leaders are expected to inspire individual motivation and the employee fails to demonstrate as such, the failure can be placed on either or both parties. Positive results won’t simply happen because it’s expected; rather, results occur when individual team members embrace the vision and the plan and then voluntarily choose to give their very best effort.

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4 Responses to “Motivation by Inspiration, Part I”

  1. Nik Stice, Employee of Pacific Continental Bank says:


    I really appreciate your leadership style to empower those you lead. Jon Krakauer’s 1996 Mt. Everest tragedy is an example of two leaders (the guides) who had completely different approaches and styles to leading their tours. The failure that led to such a catastrophe was their inability to empower their followers to be successful without their guidance.

    I believe Pacific Continental Bank’s leaders are a great example of empowering others to in turn be successful. It seems leadership is contagious when done right. Thank you Mitch for setting the example and empowering us with tools for success.

  2. Steven Asbury says:


    Well said.

    Congratulations on the blog and your new position at PCB. Appreciate all you’re doing for the business community.

  3. mahesh says:

    i like your ways of differentiation between inspiration and motivation,
    i also have some question relating the topic- such as- can motivation is possible through inspiration? is inspiration is part of motivation ? i will be happy if you can spread light on these question.

  4. Mitch says:

    Thank you for your question Mahesh. To me, the difference between inspiration and motivation can best be pictured by using an automobile as an example. I see the fuel of the car as it’s inspiration or “igniter” and the engine of the car as it’s motivation or “driver.” Inspiration is the one thing that gets you started toward achieving something. Motivation is the one thing that keeps you moving toward your objective. I hope this helps. I hope you continue to read the blog and post additional comments!

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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