Inspiring People

Adjusting the aperture

The most inspiring people are not the ones that know the most, or who can regurgitate the best summaries on best practices of leadership.

The most inspiring people tell meaningful personal stories. They share how they struggled to get to where they are and why that means my struggle may lead to somewhere better. It's not moving to hear "wake up early and work out every day." It's inspiring to hear the unique details of someone's story. Of how they made it work for themselves. What comes through isn't just the details—it's the struggle, the earnestness with which they rose up to meet their challenges. Universal themes come through in how they relive their story.

Any self-help book can tell me the 10 top habits of successful people—I want to meet one. To see myself in them. Like a camera aperture widening to take in more of its surroundings, newly illuminated possibilities appear.

That's the most important thing a leader can do: widen the aperture of others and expand what they believe is possible for their lives.