What makes someone inspirational?

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I’ve had the pleasure over the last few weeks to come into contact with a number of people who have really inspired me. Some have been inspiring me for a number of years, some I’ve only just met.

But what is it that makes someone inspirational? I’ve come up with a few thoughts based upon my recent experiences, and also from some of the people who have inspired me:

Love what you do

If you’re passionate about something, and express that passion in your communication about it, it can be contagious, people will listen and be more likely buy-in to your vision.


How often do you truly listen to someone when they’re talking to you? Is there a little voice in your head dismissing something someone is saying before they’ve finished their sentence; or you’re too busy preparing your response before the other person has even uttered 3 words; or you think you know what the other person is really feeling and you switch off. Of course you don’t do that…or do you? Some remarkable people listen very closely to every word and truly get the understanding of what you say and what you don’t say…the latter often being more important.

Genuinely care about other people

When you are genuinely interested in others and care about what they do and what they have to say, you get the best out of them.

Lead by example

If you’re trying to engage people in a vision of anything that needs to last – you have to truly live and breathe your own message. You can destroy any Vision by not living the Values that underpin that vision. I’m sure I don’t need to mention any high-profile examples of where this has destroyed people’s’ careers and philosophies.

Don’t try to be something you’re not

Most people want to be a success at something – as a parent, as a friend, as a spouse, in their career – maybe all of those things. Truly inspirational people (certainly those that I know), don’t compromise their own beliefs trying to be what people think they should be on their path to success. They are genuine to who they are and to their opinions and values.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and additions…..