Inspire Like Michelangelo

What does it mean to inspire? I think inspiration is something we often take for granted and I wanted to explore it further. Let’s start with one of the holiest and most renown places in the world.

The Vatican, in Rome, Italy attracts approximately five million visitors each year – many of those visitors on a mission to see Michelangelo’s famous frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.  It’s quite the masterpiece, one that has stood the test of time – five centuries to be exact– and inspired millions who have passed through that sacred building.  Incredible to think that the 33-year-old Michelangelo would have no idea just how much impact his creation would have.

This epic piece, as well as so many other masterful displays of art in all its forms, have evoked emotions, aroused feelings, and motivated action in billions of individuals over centuries and throughout the world.  What is it about art that can move us so deeply?  Cause us to seek after it so fervently? That can inspire us? Perhaps it’s the complexity of color, texture, subject-matter, and meaning that engages each person uniquely that engages each of us.

Would you believe me if I said the language of leading can and should accomplish the same experience?  It can.

As I’ve covered in previous posts, the language of leading is a language that inspires, persuades, and provokes lasting change.  It’s a language where individuals can communicate common things in uncommon, and memorable ways. It’s an approach to communication that attracts people, encourages effective non-verbal communication, increases intentional listening and provides bold, clear, and powerful messages.

It’s a form of communication that paints a picture like the great master artists throughout history.  It’s a language that not only describes reality but creates a reality that only words can describe. Ultimately, those who use this language lead less with information and more with inspiration.

From historic moments to the present day, language – like art – has given us extraordinary examples of the spoken word that have changed the course of human events and changed the way people think and look at the world.

Consider documents like the Declaration of Independence or speeches that have literally changed history: Lincoln, Roosevelt, King Jr., Kennedy, Churchill, Mandela, and more.  Think about epic prose in the form of poetry, novels, and articles that have riveted and influenced readers to expand their minds and become more aware of different possibilities, pertinent issues, and provocative topics.

Words and the pictures they create are powerful.  As we see with so many leaders in the corporate and political scene today, the incorrect use of those words takes no skill at all.  Those who take the time to cultivate this language – both verbal and non-verbal – however, impact, influence, and inspire in ways that create real change.

Become a master of language – the kind of language that inspires, persuades and provokes action just like the artists we enjoy throughout the world today.  Learn more about how to accomplish this by reading my book, A Climb to the Top.