Where do you find your inspiration? As their region’s cheerleaders and solutions-generators, chamber executives are put in the unenviable position of dealing with tough issues, tackling hard challenges, solving unsolvable problems but with the expectation that you’ll always have a smile on your face.
Sometimes faking the smile is the easiest part. Finding the inspiration to power your drive to keep going, to uncover that innovative solution, for helping your community see around corners and build its future — that’s hard work!
Luckily in the information age, finding some inspiring content is easier than ever. It could be as simple as a meme on Instagram that gives you the confidence boost you need. Some folks prefer a podcast episode. Others might want to sit down with a book on leadership or management. That’s the great thing about living in 2023.
I know we often feel bombarded by too much information, but we also have access to nearly everything at our fingertips. My weekly “inspo” ritual used to be reading a column in the New York Times (sadly the column ended in 2022).
For about a decade I’d devour this series called “Corner Office.” Writer and researcher Adam Bryant would interview executives and ask them a set of questions about their backgrounds, experiences and lessons learned.
I was always fascinated by the subject’s career story; I always wanted to understand, not just the fun part of their success, but most importantly where they struggled.
I find that the reason I need some positive reinforcement is because I can camp out in the negative spaces, and not truly appreciate how they’re momentary, and also important in helping me grow and learn. I also always got some nugget of information from the answers on managing their organization or developing their team members.
Executives from all types of organizations, including nonprofits, were interviewed. Most of these executives were not household names, though they were extremely successful.
Lessons from CEOs
Bryant actually analyzed the answers from his years of interviewing leaders and wrote a book summarizing the key lessons identified repeatedly in his interviews.
I just got done with his latest book, co-authored with the former CEO of Amgen, Kevin Sharer, The CEO Test. I thought it was excellent, especially the way they use stories from real-life CEOs to amplify their philosophy. I’m eagerly anticipating his next book coming out this summer, Leap to Leader.
Where’s Your Inspiration?
While I love a good book, I’m looking for my quick burst of daily or weekly positivity. So, I’m really curious — where do you find your inspiration? Drop me an email and let me know!
Nick Ortiz is president and CEO of W.A.C.E. and vice president of local chamber relations at the California Chamber.