Part 3 of Our Series on Leadership Training: A 26.2 Mile Course.

Start With Energy

It all starts with energy. Whether you know it or not, your energy is contagious. When you passionately and enthusiastically share your stories it inspires others. If someone tells you an exciting story you feel your energy rise with them, just like when you suddenly find your feet tapping to beat of the music.

Energy is essential to motivating and inspiring others. But before you can support others you should consider to taking a deeper look at your own source of motivation and inspiration. Think of motivation as your reasons for doing something and think of inspiration as your ideas of what to do.

What Motivates and Inspires You?

“Oh my gosh it was the MOST amazing moment of my life to cross a marathon finish line! I feel invincible, confident, capable, strong, regal, and sexy all in one!”

When I heard that, I was motivated to want to get there. To motivate others you need to be motivated yourself and share that energy, lead with that energy. In the second of two back-to-back marathons in St. Louis I was hurting badly. By mile 8 I was about to drop from the race when a fellow multi-marathoner started talking to me. “It’s going to feel great to finish two in a row! Like crossing a finish line for the first time!” This statement instantly appealed to one of my reasons for running that race. “You’ll get used to the high mileage in a few more miles, hang in there a few more and it will get better.” He gave me hope and support. Then he told me stories and got me talking, he gave me energy.

Energy is contagious. He shared energy and lead with it. It motivated me to finish. When you are energized and motivated to accomplish goals, you energize and motivate others. What goals are you motivated to accomplish that you can share and help motivate others to do the same?

Inspiration Is Everywhere

One of the reasons why I love running marathons is because every course is filled with inspiring people with incredible stories of accomplishments and triumph. I am most inspired by real people’s stories. At the end of the First Light Marathon in Mobile, Alabama I met Barefoot Bandito. He’s in the process of running nearly 60 marathons barefoot between January and July to raise awareness for kids in the Philippines that need shoes to go to school in order to break out of poverty. Running beside a guy doing this makes me feel like running 60 more marathons myself! This is inspiration, doing incredible things and telling people about it. When you passionately and enthusiastically share stories of your own accomplishments, it inspires others.

I’m trying to “Inspire America by running it” and I’m writing about it on my blog, Empowered by Running. In what ways are you already doing something inspiring (creative, unusual, heroic, charitable, interesting, challenging, personally triumphant)?

Inspiration is less a matter of creating it and more a matter of showcasing it. If you are leading a life and career of purpose and passion, then share it with others so they can be inspired by you. Bringing the Fearless Leader Manifesto to life, I am proclaiming my presence and contribution in the world: to motivate and inspire others through running.

What have you done (or do you do) that inspires great action out of others?

If you liked this then return in March to read about practicing gratitude and humility.


About the Author

Suzanne Bansley

Suzanne Bansley Suzanne Bansley is a runner, writer, and innovative sustainability change agent documenting a journey to run a marathon in every state on her blog She is operations manager and a guest blogger on She is an innovative sustainability change agent with an entrepreneurial spirit. She is motivated and energetic with a professionally eclectic background that includes grants management, revolving loan fund management, accounting and finance, human resources, and general business management experience from large corporations, small businesses, higher education, non-profits, and governmental organizations. In addition to her work as operations manager for the Center for Nature and Leadership, she is a part-time/volunteer webmaster, bookkeeper, and Board Member for the Daughters of Toleza Scholarship Fund for adolescent girls in Malawi, Africa to attend high school. She has an MBA in Managing for Sustainability from Marlboro College (2011) and a Bachelors in Business Administration, specializing in Finance from Southern Connecticut State University (2005). In addition to running she is an avid alpine skier and winter sports enthusiast. View all posts by Suzanne Bansley

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