Sandra Spataro, PhD 00
Co-Founder/Chief Perspective Officer, InspireCorps & Prof. of Management, Northern Kentucky University

Sandra SpataroHow can leaders position their teams for success in this uncertain landscape of work? By cultivating inspiration, says Sandra Spataro, the co-founder of InspireCorps, a strategy firm that helps companies use inspiration to drive business innovation and growth.

Inspiration, she says, is a critical yet lacking resource in the workplace. According to research by Bain & Company, inspired employees are three times more productive than dissatisfied ones, yet only 1 in 8 employees is inspired.

“Too often people think about inspiration as something that we have to sit and wait for, that we hope will be visited upon us,” says Spataro. But everyone, she says, has the power to ignite and control inspiration, much like flexing a muscle.

In her coauthored book, Dare to Inspire: Sustain the Fire of Inspiration in Work and Life (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2019), Spataro highlights 18 engines—like connecting to your purpose and finding meaning in your work, thinking about heroes and mentors, and sharing experiences—to spark inspiration, defined as a greater vision for possibilities within your realm and the feeling of confidence to make them happen.

Orienting yourself to purpose can also help counter the challenges of a changing work environment. “If I’m feeling burned out, a greater sense of possibility and invincibility is what’s going to end up bringing me back to neutral and into a more positive space,” Spataro says.