The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “How do you stay inspired to run a business?” is written by Steve Williams, CEO of Maxus Americas.
Whether you’re leading a small team, a large organization, or a global company, you’ve probably wondered at some point how to stay productive and inspired to lead. For me, it’s all about having both an obsessive desire to succeed and a fear of failure.
That’s the real and emotional answer.
If I’m more prosaic about it, it’s difficult not to be inspired each day, as it starts and ends with people and culture. If you don’t enjoy—or even relish in—this aspect, it’s hard to be an inspiring leader and stay on top of your game.
The reality is that the workforce population, in the average creative business, at least, has never been such a melting pot.
The average age of employees at Maxus Global is around 28, making it the first time in history we’ve had five generations working side by side. With such an assortment of ages, backgrounds, experiences, and interests, each person helps us find unique and innovative ways to adapt to industry changes. It’s one of our greatest strengths as an organization because it encourages creativity, increases productivity, and helps develop new processes for solving complex issues. Challenging your people and encouraging them to think differently are the only ways to build a strong team and stay inspired each day.
Additionally, as leaders, we need to be far more plural in our strategies—with our visions, the way we listen, and how we care. As Jeanne C. Meister, coauthor of The 2020 Workplace, wrote, “Just as you would research a new product or service, you need to study the demographics of your current workforce and the projected demographics of your future workforce to determine what they want out of their jobs, as these things are different generation to generation.”
Understanding your workforce allows you to build collaborative relationships across the board with each and every person (and generation) at your organization. But achieving it takes authenticity, consistency, and care. As business leaders, we need to train every day. We have to be on our A-game and show up in our workplace in a relatable, compelling, and motivating way. This responsibility to our people continually pushes me to make sure I’m bringing my best self to the office every day.
It’s fascinating, challenging, and highly rewarding.
I wake up early every working day because I have to be at my best to nurture the culture we are all growing in. And that matters—to me, to the organization, and to our customers.
What more inspiration could I ask for?
Steve Williams is CEO of Maxus Americas, part of GroupM, the world’s largest media investment management group that serves as the parent company of all WPP media agencies, and which buys over one third of the world’s media every day.