The Container Store

Perspectives on Inspiring Leadership

Perspectives on Inspiring Leadership

Author Simon Sinek speaking at The Container Store’s leadership conference in 2015.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

Several years ago, bestselling author Simon Sinek spoke at The Container Store’s leadership conference, and his inspiring words had an enormous impact on all of us. We’ve longed believed that inspiration and love—not fear—is the best way to get the most out of your employees, and it’s a leadership style that can be practiced in many different ways.

For example, our CEO Melissa Reiff always begins her company-wide “Coffee Chats” with an inspirational quote. While it may not seem like that significant a gesture, it goes a long way in setting the tone for the meeting and getting all of us in the same frame of mind. It starts off the talk on a positive note, and Melissa continues this attitude throughout with her spirit of love, humility, perseverance, and humor.

To help you lead with inspiration in your workplace, we’ve pulled a few helpful articles from the web:

“Engaging Your Employees Is Good, but Don’t Stop There” by Eric Garton and Michael Mankins (via Harvard Business Review)

“Genius, as Thomas A. Edison famously declared, may be 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. But building a company employees truly love reverses the equation: it’s almost all inspiration, and sweat has only a little to do with it.”

“5 Keys to Inspiring Leadership, No Matter Your Style” by Gwen Moran (via Entrepreneur)

“Today, standout leaders come in all shapes and sizes. She could be a blue jeans-clad marketing student, running a major ecommerce company out of her dorm room. He might be the next salt-and-pepper-haired, barefoot Steve Jobs, presenting a groundbreaking new device at a major industry conference…However, as different as leaders are today, there are some things great leaders do every day.”

“What Makes a Leader Inspirational to People?” by Susan M. Heathfield (via The Balance Careers)

“Many senior leaders expect that employees will follow them because of their title, their company ownership, or their place in the organization’s hierarchy. And, honestly, many employees do follow a leader for these reasons. But, that does not mean that the leader inspires their best work, support, and contribution.”