5 Ways To Inspire Your Team Members And Keep It That Way

Kumar Gauraw

Every business leader wants to have an inspired team. Every team members joins the team with an intention to be self-motivated to add value to the organization. But, something happens on the way and most business teams are no more inspired.

Inspired Team Members Happy At Work - Doing Their Jobs With Positive Mental Attitude

Why does that happen?

It also happens that the places of service where we expect people to be the least enthusiastic, we get an excellent service by an enthusiastic individual and where we expect people to be at their best (even in the private sector), we experience the worst.

Why does that happen?

Well, let's see some examples of such experiences to begin with and we will get into the details later.

Example 1 – Unexpected Great Treatment

Fortunately, I have not needed to visit my physician for anything other than the general yearly health checkup. That means, every year I go, I meet a new staff member (mostly).

Earlier this year, I needed to visit during the allergy season after coming from that trip to Memphis where I had mistakenly spent a night in a room with stuff with feathers. My doctor was on leave and there were some challenges in scheduling my appointment. I expressed my disappointments with the lady on the line with a mindset that I was going to change my doctor (although I didn’t mention that to her).

It was Friday when I spoke to her and she booked me for the very next morning and put herself on schedule to be there when I arrived. When I got there, she knew who I was, apologized for the inconvenience and handled everything for me.

By the time I left the clinic, I was so impressed with her enthusiasm and understanding, I left a letter of appreciation for her in their management office. Later, I received many ‘thank you’ calls from the management for the letter and ‘apology’ for the inconvenience caused to me.

Now, I don’t think this is a common expectation from staff in doctor offices. I was surprised by this experience because I had a perception that they didn’t care.

Example 2 – Surprisingly Bad Customer Service

I recently wrote a blog post sharing my experience in Memphis, TN. In the whole experience and after talking to Sheraton corporate, I figured out that Marriott was the real cause of my entire pain and here is why.

Before selling the place to Sheraton, they had overbooked the building way out of proportion and then the new owners had to figure out a way to handle the situation when not many cancellations happened.

On top of that, the episode on my ‘feather-free room’ request happened. Who would have expected that kind of ignorant service staff at an organization like Marriott? But we went through the experience and now I know, people are people who will operate at their level of motivation no matter who they work for.

Why Do People Lose Interest And Get Demotivated?

I don't think people get demotivated (or uninspired) because of challenges on the way. I think the reason for an uninspired individual on the team has more to do with his/her connection with the purpose.

Any time people get disconnected from the their purpose, they don’t feel inspired to act with integrity anymore. Don’t you agree?

Not just in the business industry or only in corporate life — this principle applies in virtually any team atmosphere. When we don’t feel connected with the leadership of the team we are on, we tend to act indifferent, which, in turn, hurts the team spirit and the team.

Five Ways To Get Your Team Inspired And Keep It That Way

Whether you are in a leadership position in the corporate world or you are a business owner with a team working with you, the leadership principles will work for or against you depending on how you act as a leader.

Based on my experience in building teams, here are five ways I have found to help keep your team inspired and keep the enthusiasm alive in your organization:

1. Give People A Sense Of Ownership

I remember my first job right out of college when I was so excited to go to work on day one. But the excitement lasted only until I reached the office. The reason for this was that my mentor at work showed me the number of documents and reports that I needed to fill every day to report the work I did.

It was an organization where I was made to feel accountable every day for the work I was supposed to do. It needed me to do the work and then produce a bunch of documents and then run around obtaining the approval of seniors for my work.

People want to know that they are valued by you as their leader and by the organization they work with. A better approach is to involve them in achieving your organizations goal as partners, as owners. When people know their contribution to the organization matters, they will go above and beyond their stipulated responsibilities to serve the team.

2. Connect Your Team With The Vision, Not Just The Process

I have seen leaders who get engrossed so much in the process that they forget the aspect of connecting with their team members and in return, they lead an uninspired and demotivated team. In the end, they wonder why things are going wrong when they believe from their perspective that they are doing everything right. Well, they failed to make a strong connection between their team and the big picture!

Most organizations have people who have no idea what are the founding principles behind the organization they are working for. They are told about their objectives, they are told what to do, but they are mostly unaware of the clear picture of the larger purpose.

Human beings crave for knowledge because this is what empowers us to stand for something, to be more and to do more. That means, people who are on your team, want to know about the larger picture. They want to know that the organization they are working with has a mission, a purpose, and they want you to connect them to that big picture!

3. Often Remind Your Team Members That They Matter

If they didn’t matter, you wouldn’t have had them on your team in the first place. But the question is, does every member of your team know that he/she matters to your organization? Do they know that you genuinely value them on your team?

May be, you had an initial introduction and you explained how much they are important to your organization and how much you value them. But they need to be reminded of this often.

If you have lived in your current city for even a month, you very well know what the speed limit is on the highway you travel, don’t you? Why then do you think there is a speed sign at every mile marker?

That is because you and I, need to be reminded of the speed limit often so we don’t forget it. Similarly, your team needs to be reminded often that they matter and that they are playing an important role in your organizational mission. Let them know and do that often!

4. Build Trust Based Relationships With Your Team

Trust is the most powerful ingredient in building relationship. People are inspired when they know that they can trust their leaders knowing that their leaders believe in them.

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care  ~John C. Maxwell   [tweet this]

Transparency does help you build an atmosphere of trust within your team, but that’s not good enough. Building trust requires that you go beyond just transparency and start to believe in your people and in their abilities to perform.

I vividly remember a project where my boss trusted me for the first time to handle a brand new project with a couple of team members to support me in the mission. It was a new client and we didn’t have much to look forward to.

But he trusted me for a successful implementation and more business as a result of my work. That’s exactly what I did and in one years’ time, we had secured multiple projects and grown our team size to more than a dozen.

It took a lot of work, but I did it with enthusiasm because I wanted to make him proud. That’s the power of a trust based relationship.

Do you spend time finding ways to develop trust among your team members? Do they know you care about them and that you genuinely believe in them?

5. Be The Most Inspired Person On Your Team

Be the change you want to see in the world.  ~Mahatma Gandhi   [tweet this]

While this is the most important leadership technique, this is also the most delicate technique. If you expect your team to be inspired, you need to be inspired. If you want your team to work hard, you’ve got to be the hardest working person on the team. If you want your team to be united, you’ve got to be the reason for unity.

An inspired team needs a leader who not only understands this principle and believes in it but also lives this every day. Such a team will always come out winning where the leader has this trait. People on the team will always do whatever it takes to earn the respect of such a leader.


How the smallest player on your team performs, depends on how you perform as a leader. If you practice these five leadership principles, you most certainly can have a team you will be proud of. However, if you don’t, it will be hard for you to inspire and motivate your team members to help you achieve your organization’s purpose with purity.

Over To You – Share Your Thoughts

Which leadership trait is the most important to you?

Do you think these five ways to create an inspired team is good enough for a leader? Would you like to suggest another trait or two for becoming an inspiring leader?

Please share your thoughts through your comments. Thank you kindly!

Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

41 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Hello Kumar,
    What a wonderfully informative post. All great points!

    For me, the most important leadership trait is trust. If people in your organization can’t trust you, they certainly won’t care much about your vision. Of course, trust is the result of earning respect that comes from a heart of love.

    More and more companies are recognizing the merits of love-based leadership, which, as you know, I have written about a few times now.

    Like love, like happiness, like a lot of things in life, Leadership is a state of being. BE the example that others desire to emulate.

    Warm Regards,

    • You said it right Bill. Being the right example is the key to resolving a lot of leadership crisis. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      Have a wonderful week 🙂


  2. Hi Kumar,

    I remember your post about your allergy with the feathers in the hotel room…Yikes! Then there was all that inconvenience with the Sheraton hotel. What a run around you got that day. And it all came down to bad customer service.

    True…I think we are conditioned for bad customer service. Whenever I call for service, I keep my phone on speaker and do my work because I know I won’t talk to a human, for a while “Please hold because we are experiencing multiple calls.” Ha Ha Ha

    But to answer your call to action, I would go with number 4. Especially the quote that says it all which I did tweet: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” How true is that? If we don’t care about our team members, that foundation will fall apart.

    If we step up and share our pitfalls with them honestly, and make sure they understand that we do care no matter what, the foundation of the relationships become strong. I have had many people calling or emailing me with questions. I do answer them all and give them inspiration that they can do it! Positive reinforcement always works!

    I would also say I love number 5 too. If we are not inspired and not living the business, anyone “under” us won’t either.

    Great post!


    • Hi Donna,

      Isn’t it amazing how much value we get when we begin to add value to others with genuine intention to help?
      Your story of so many people coming to you for help, is a true testimonial to that principle. I am sure that has helped you build a stronger brand value in the marketplace and a credibility so your prospects feel comfortable getting in business with you.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Have a great week!


  3. These are excellent ways to inspire and motivate your team and ensure you are all working to achieve the best result possible. I would add training and follow up support as being important. If someone is not totally sure of what they have to do and how to do it then they will not be at ease and find it hard to feel inspired. Training is ongoing and includes feeling free to go to someone and ask questions and receive help without feeling embarrassed or unintelligent.

    • Hi Sue,

      You are so right about people getting the training and support they need to do their jobs right. That’s an excellent point. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Excellent article Kumar. I’ve been very fortunate to work for a number of excellent companies with fine leadership standards. The last company I worked for – sadly – did not. Think of the opposite to every point you made above and that was the standard. It wasn’t all bad though because I did learn a lot and it spurred me on to begin working for myself.

    • Hi Marquita,

      Sometimes, we need a push from an outside force to realize our own worth and to take charge of our lives. May be your last job did that to you and now you are an entrepreneur!

      We do learn from our bad experience and every sensible person should learn. Congratulations on starting your own business. If I can be of any help, please feel free to let me know.

      Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Kumar,

    My favorite of all your tips is to be the most inspired on your team. People look to the leader to inspire them. if the leader does not show enthusiasm for the mission and purpose and does not seem motivated, how can he or she expect the team members to remain motivated. We all run into slumps and lowered motivation and that’s when a motivated leader can turn things around.


    Dr. Erica

    • That’s absolutely right Dr. Erica. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Being the most inspired person on my team is one of the Formosa things I would put in my ToDo list of Leadership development.

      Have a great Friday!


  6. Hi Kumar

    What an awesome post. It is sad that more often we are surprised when we get great customer service and expect it to be the other way. It is a sad thing.

    I love your tips and like Dr Erica think the one she said for us to be the most inspired person on our team. I believe we must lead by example and people will do what we do not what we say. Although having said that they are all important. I have had many people on my various teams over the years tell me they loved that I believed in them more than they believed in themselves. I think that is also important.

    A great post thank you.


    • Hello Sue,

      That’s right. In fact, I feel the same way about my mentors. They believed me more than I believed in myself to begin with. Isn’t that such an incredible feeling?

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and have an awesome weekend!


  7. Dear Kumar,
    Greetings. You wrote an excellent article.
    I totally agree with all points but the great ones include number 4 (Building trust).
    Zig said, said “If people like you they’ll listen to you but if they trust you, then they’ll do business with you.”

    Happy Friday,


    • True words Charmant. Thank you for sharing Zig Ziglar’s quote! What an excellent thought!
      Have a happy Friday!

  8. HI Mr. Kumar, thanks a lot for a well written article. I can see examples are really poignant. Most especially, point numbers 1. Give People A Sense Of Ownership and 4.Build Trust Based Relationships With Your Team the summary that follows. Trust is so vital in life as a whole; and in business it is a key to effectiveness. I thing all 5 points are enough to inspire a team.

    • Ranjan Ji, glad to see you here again. And thank you for the words of appreciation.

      Have a wonderful weekend!


  9. Hi,

    Wonderful tips, yes i agree with all the points mentioned above. Building Trust Based Relationships With the Team will really help the members to get inspiration from us.

    thanks for sharing valuable post with us.

  10. Hey Kumar,

    I remember your nightmare with the hotel and I really felt for you. It’s not fun when you’re so excited to attend a function like that only to run into that many problems with your accomodations.

    I think that was a very nice thing you did writing that letter of recommendation for that person who helped you with your doctor’s appointment. I remember when I worked in corporate America. I won’t lie and say that getting a pay raise wasn’t important because it was but it seriously meant more to me to have my boss tell me that I was doing a good job and he appreciated me. I enjoyed going to work and I enjoyed working for him because I did feel apprecaited.

    That’s one of the reasons I tell people thank you a lot when they visit my blog because people like to feel appreciated and that what they shared matters.

    I haven’t worked in a team enviornment in so long but that’s what I remember the most and your points are all spot on. Make them feel worthwhile, involve them in what’s going on and make them feel part of the team. You’ll find them eager to do the work and make their customers happy. I wish more people did this.

    Thanks for sharing this and hope you have a wonderful weekend.


    • Hi Adrienne,

      You are so absolutely right about people like to be recognised and appreciated. My business coach always says, “You build people up and people will go out and build your business!”

      I have found that to be very powerful method and whenever I’ve done that, I have seen tremendous performance from my people. This is an amazing principle. All it takes from me is to pay attention to people, care for them, and genuinely be interested in their lives. Rest is automatically done!

      Thank you for sharing your wisdom here. Appreciate your comments, always!

      Have a great weekend you as well.



  11. Kumar,

    All in all a precise set of principles for great team building and leadership. I especially love to get more than what I expected. It’s a wow moment for certain. It builds repeat customers and positive buzz. How many times have you gone out of your way to tell a friend about the outstanding or unexpected service you received? Lots of times, I’d bet.

    I enjoyed your post, Kumar. Thanks,


    • Hi Rick!
      Thank you for your awesome commentary. And yes, good or bad, we like to share our experiences with friends and family and businesses need to realize that.

      However, that begins with the leaders making sure their people understand this and really want to help the organization get a good name.

      Have a wonderful weekend.


  12. Hi Kumar,

    5 or 6 years ago I wrote an article online titled “How to Be a True Leader” and to this day it’s my most viewed/read article. It seems that a lot of people need the type of advice you are giving here.

    Some kindness and respect for people can go a long way, and your example at the doctor really shows that. Now you bad experience with your customer service a that hotel shows the exact opposite.

    My recent experience with my bad customer service from an unprofessional blog theme designer is similar to yours. No appreciation and respect for the customer.

    Few years ago I left a network marketing company because of the way I was treated my upline Such experiences should not even be, but unfortunately they do.

    Bottom line it’s very important to make people feel appreciated, and those who can’t seem to be able to do that, will pay for it sooner or later.

    • Wow! That post on leadership is still the most viewed article? I am going to check that out as well 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. And you are right, in today’s social media dominated world, good or bad, word travels at jet speed. People who don’t care will pay much faster today than they did in the past.


  13. Hi Kumar!

    I love that John Maxwell quote. It’s always been one of my favorites. As a business owner and former manager of a large team, I can tell you how very true his words are.

    People need to know how much you care before they’re willing to follow you. They also need to know they matter and that their voice makes a difference.

    Great tips and spot on!

    • Thanks Rebekah for dropping by and sharing your excitement about John Maxwell and his awesome quote!

      I learnt the leadership principles through his books and his teachings I’m seminars and I admire the way he has practically build such teams of volunteers and that is the reason his wisdom strikes with most of us.

      Wow! Having led large organization, if you appreciate these principles, it means a lot. Thank you for adding a lot of value.


  14. Hi Kumar,

    Great post and I think that people need to be not only inspired but made to feel like they belong. I know that if I feel appreciated I will do better. The last thing anyone wants is to feel unappreciated.

    Eventually over time the trust begins to build. These are definitely some great ways to inspire team members. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • Hello Susan,

      When people feel appreciated, they want to outperform and as you said, you would do the same given the opportunity and I can tell you, I do the same.

      On the other hand, when leadership isn’t inspiring, I don’t feel like doing anything. That’s the human nature and as entrepreneurs, we need to understand that principle.

      Have a great weekend!


  15. Kumar I really enjoyed reading your post I think you hit the nail on the head when you said transparency also needs to have trust to make things come together . When you pass on responsibility to someone they feel that trust and confidence you have in them which makes them work harder on the next task .

  16. Kumar- You have good suggestions, but when people work for you for years they have a tenancy to become complacent. You can be the best leader and it may motivate for a short time but it is hard to keep that long term. I had thought of giving my employees a stake in the company but decided against it. I have increased pay, given bonus, and I give them money on their birthdays. I am not sure if they expect more. With that said most of my employees have been wonderful. There is one that no matter what I do it is hard to turn her around.

    • Hello Arleen,

      I think it’s more about the vision and always raising the bar through setting the right example, is an important aspect of keeping the team energized as well. Just because people stay long enoough, doesn’t necessarily make them complacent. When they get into their comfort zone and they find nothing else challenging enough, they get complacent and that is what a leader must figure out.

      And you will always have exceptions. No matter what you do, there always be one or two exceptions 🙂 We have to deal with them.

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate you taking time to share your story.


  17. Hi Kumar,

    Great article! I 100% agree with the idea that people seem to lose their integrity once they feel they’ve become disconnected from the team. It’s so vitally important that a team member feels like they’re a part of the group. Likewise, I feel that a leader’s sense of direction is an absolutely essential part of the success of a group. Leaders must be aware of where they wish for the team to go if there going to be able to motivate their fellow members to work towards the team’s goals.

    Hope you have a great day!

    Josh May

    • Absolutely Josh. I agree with you 100% about the vision. John Maxwell says, people buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. But the point is, the leader has to have a vision without which, leadership can’t go long enough.

      Thank you for adding value through your awecome comments!


  18. Hi Kumar,
    Though I don’t have a team of my own but I have been part of many. I can surely agree on the tips you mentioned that they boost the morale of a team.
    A team where every member is valued and matters is the most progressive ones. Connecting team members with the vision is good idea. It further motivates them to produce better results.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Hello Vineet,

      Glad to hear from you and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Isn’t it so simple to understand that people need appreciation and trust?

      But it’s amazing how many people at leadership positions often forget it and do just the opposite.

      Have a great week!

  19. as mentioned in the blog that people get demotivated, yes it is true but there is not a one reason as my opinion if you make free a person to do the face the challenge and give him a space and time he may achieve the goal of given target. if he doesn’t capable of doing so than you can say he not relaible person

  20. There was a point looking for you to add more the importance to be enthusiastic at all times. being one who can always get them to enjoy being excited which takes allot of adrenaline, which makes the day so much as an adventure.

    Keeping each member interacting with you and others. Make sure that they love what they are doing and each understands even through their end results may seem to be different it is all about the journey together. We never are going to stop until we ascend.

    Each time we evaluate our position to meet certain goals on that timeline. We notice an every changing appearance being more new members have amazing ideas that you have to just listen and allow the development to enhance operations. Not one person can keep the group’s attention daily.

    I found that if you delegate responsibilities to each member and allow challenges to take place. Then walk them through the way to move forward is best. Changing the I to We in every statement shapes our minds to be as one in the whole picture, doing it right the first time.

    Yes, there will always be those who believe they have learned enough and move away from the group. Hey, we can not continue to support everyone yet keeping in touch with those types of members is a remarkable way to keep a clear bridge of understanding.

    The more you interact with the whole group and not dictate to them. The better it will be for the overall group. We can only walk them trough fundamentals and keep them motivated with exciting challenges. That is my way and I am able to learn myself each day from the various characters of others.

    Thank you for this enlightening share which is one I will return shortly to view your other articles. For give me for this is my first visit and welcome to our little group of passionate Global leaders.

  21. Hi, Kumar!
    Your post made me think about leadership over again. Even though I know these principles, it’s always good to hear them again in different words. I should admit I don’t use them always, so thank you for reminding me of them again! I believe these 5 ways are very important in leadership.

    • Hi Aistis,

      Happy Thanksgiving to you from the US 🙂

      Yes, you are right. We all need to be reminded of the things we already know and that is the beauty. We learn from each other and grow together 🙂



  22. Hi,

    You have added value to the relations, I would like to take your suggestion on one more topic which i think is quite necessary, WHETHER WE SHOULD MAINTAIN PERSONAL RELATION WITH EMPLOYEE AND IF YES! THEN PLEASE SUGGEST THE LEVEL? because i think personal and professional relation should not be merged.


    • Hello Rakesh,

      The question you’ve asked is subjective in nature and it really depends on our individual circumstances because it depends on how much bandwidth you have to build personal relationships and to what level you feel comfortable.

      For example, if you are a small enterprise with a handful of people, you may have opportunity to build personal relationship with your employees. And I know it works because nothing can beat a strong personal bond between you and people who you are entrusting with your business. But, you’ve got to know how to draw the line between building relationship and losing posture because that is very important in general (let alone between you and your employees).

      On the other hand, if you have thousands of people working in your team, you will benefit tremendously if you have good relationships at a personal level with your key people and in turn they duplicate your leadership with their key people and so on. In larger organizations, it becomes a matter of developing a culture of personal leadership and where people do not have that culture (which is more often than not), people deal at a positional leadership level as John Maxwell says.

      It is a great point of discussion and may be I will write in more depth about this topic in near future. Thank you for your contribution!


  23. This is really nice way to inspire our team members. It is essential to inspire them as they really matters a lot for our business. So regularly this should be done.

Please Note: My goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. Therefore, I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.