No B.S. Coaching Advice


Inspiration | Career Angles

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Motivation is driven by fear. Inspiration is inspired by love. Motivation is rooted in the personality; inspiration is rooted in the soul. Motivation is lighting a fire under someone. Inspiration is lighting a fire within someone. Motivation serves me; inspiration serves you. The difference in organizations is palpable — inspired people arouse the hearts of others, thus creating inspired colleagues, customers, and suppliers — and an inspired world. Do you inspire more than you motivate?


Spirit@Work is an iPhone app that offers 77 words to inspire their leadership and living. Currently free, downloaded, and, when you do, open the app and then shape your phone. It will deliver a word of the day for you to focus on. My card today is “Inspiration.”

I used to think that inspiration and motivation as synonyms.

Then I learned the difference — lighting a fire under someone versus lighting a fire within someone.

It changed everything.

Once I understood the difference between the two, I paid attention to what I did and how it affected others.

I understood that my habit was to motivate, rather than to inspire.

Motivation bullies.

It is the language of managers, not leaders.

To be a leader, you need to have followers.

To be a manager, you need to have people assigned to you who do what you tell them to do.

Followers voluntarily act.

Followers want to take action.

People who are assigned to you do what they have to do and no more or a little more. They have to do it.

People who are assigned to you do things because they are afraid of the stick.

Followers do things because it’s in their heart to do it.

Who do you think the champions are more often?

Now, some of them may have started by needing motivation. “Do this, or you will be off the team.”

Champions learn how to win and do things voluntarily because they can see the results and feel the results.

My habit was to motivate, and now, I try to inspire.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2021



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on for Apple TV and 90+ smartsets.

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