Inspire or Retire!!

Inspire or Retire

Inspirational Leadership + Motivated People = a great team with outstanding accomplishments.

Over the next two weeks, Eliza was in and out of the office for in processing and more organizational training to help her acclimate to the new environment. During those two weeks, she thought about what she learned on her first day and her concept of what a leader is and does began to change.

Also during those two weeks, she kept hearing the phrase “Inspire or Retire” which made her more curious of the true meaning. After her in processing and training was finished, she stopped in to see Ty again.

“That was a long two weeks of training. It was very useful and I feel like I am ready just focus on my work.” Eliza said as she walked into Ty’s office.

“Glad to have you back. Did you learn anything new?” Ty asked.

“I did learn more about the organization than I knew before joining. I now know the mission, vision, priorities, and core values of the organization but feel I could know more. However, the one thing I kept hearing repeatedly was the phrase you used on my first day “Inspire or Retire”. What does that mean?” Eliza asked.

Ty smiled and said, “Inspire or Retire is the motto of the organization and it reminds everyone that you need to be an inspirational leader in the organization every day or retire and let someone else be the leader. It is why the people in the organization enjoy working here. We are accountable to each other.”

How can I find out more about the motto?” Eliza said.

“Let me make a phone call and then we can go learn more about Inspire or Retire” Ty said as he picked up the phone.

Again, they walked through the organization but this time Ty had Eliza point out the important areas and significance of each. He wanted Eliza to turn from just a learner into a teacher. Eventually they arrived at another door close to the last door they visited. However, this time the door was open and there were people already in the office waiting.

“Good Morning, Ty” said Joshua and Karis almost in unison.

Good Morning to the both of you” Ty replied. “I would like for you two to meet Eliza. She is one of my new employees and a new member of our team.”

“Welcome to the team Eliza” Said Joshua as motioned everyone to the table in the room.

“Eliza said that you would like to learn more about the Inspire or Retire motto and what it means?” Karis said as they walked over to the table.

“Then you have come to the right place. Karis and I are the Directors of Strategy and Marketing and understand the Inspire or Retire motto and the Theorem,” Said Joshua.

“Theorem?” said Eliza. I didn’t know there would be math involved?”

“No math is involved in the theorem. It is a mathematical mnemonic and it visually represents the enduring leadership requirement in this organization” Said Karis as she pulled up the briefing.

“Leadership is fundamental to the success of this organization and creating leaders to meet the challenges is the responsibility of the all leaders” chimed in Joshua.

Leaders and leadership are eternally linked to organizational effectiveness and leader development so the Inspire or Retire Theorem was developed as a way to represent your role as a leader, your leadership expectations, the organizational vision, goals, and values, and the impact you can make on your people.” Ty stated

“Alright let’s begin.”Karis said “This what the formula looks like. Would you like to venture a guess what it means?”


            “It looks confusing.” Eliza said as she concentrated on the theorem.

“That is the usual response from most new employees. However, let us break it down in to the small parts and examine the theorem. If you look at the theorem, the limits of this formula range from every junior employee to the most senior management position.” Karis said as the symbol came up on the screen.


“What this means is that leadership is everyone’s business. Every employee, from the most junior, such as you Eliza, to the CEO of the organization is a leader and responsible for leading.” Ty said as he helped her to understand the concept.

“It further states that the overall function or the F(X) of every leader is to lead People (P) and execute the Mission (M). Since people are not things we lead them not manage them”. Joshua said as he continued explaining the theorem.


“Another way to think of it is people first mission always,” said Karis. “A leader is responsible for both”

“Here is why this organization keeps the talent needed for the future, said Joshua. “The bottom part of the equation is the fusion of your personal core values (CV) and the organizations core values (OV). This is a key and foundational organizational principle. It is the fusion or synchronization of the combined values, beliefs, and tenets of you and the organization. It is a melding of your leadership and the leadership expectations of the organization.”


              “This is why I joined the organization this organization. My values and the organizational values were very close to the same.” Eliza said.

            “That is why people continue to work here and why we have the business reputation we have is because our people agree with our core values.” Karis replied.

“This next part is a bit complicated but it is really easy to understand,” said Ty.

“Right once you understand what each symbol means it is easy to understand,” Joshua as he continued to further explain the symbols.


“As a leader of people and in your organization, it is your responsibility to lead by example RE(LxE) and set the standard for your people. Using a 360-degree leadership approach (L (360o)) you can maximize your leadership potential by realizing that you can lead anywhere, anytime, and any place in an organization and in your life. To help build the organization leadership bench in our organization and to help maximize the potential of our people we use the John Maxwell concept of developing people as leaders (DL (10X)) to increase the organizational leadership capacity by 10-fold. Finally as a leader, you need to build resiliency in your life and those that you lead so they are well balanced and able to perform at their maximum potential. Resiliency (Technically, Mentally, Physically, Spiritually)

             “I know that this may seem overwhelming at first but Ty will continue to mentor you over the next few weeks to ensure you understand the theorem completely,” Karis said as she changed the slide to the next part of the theorem.

“After compiling the inner equation you a need to have a holistic understanding of the Organization’s (OR) Mission (M) x Vision (V)  x Strategic Plan (SP)  x Priorities (P) in order to develop and build leaders (BL) with Character, Competence, Courage, Commitment, and Innovation(C4I)  to continue the growth and development of leaders for the organization.


“The Inspire or Retire Theorem is a way for you as a leader  to examine your leadership every day to see if you are inspiring your people to greater heights of performance and success as emerging and enduring leaders” Ty added.

“When you hear us say Inspire or Retire to one another it is a constant reminder of our commitment to ourselves, our employees, and the organization,” Joshua said as he shut off the computer

“The most significant contribution you can make as leader is to leave a legacy of inspired leaders behind in your wake. As a leader you need to leverage your skills, talents, and experiences to transform your people into future leaders!” Karis said, “It was good to meet you Eliza and welcome to the team.”

“Inspire or Retire Ty.” Joshua, Karis, and Eliza emphatically said

“Inspire or Retire!” Ty replied


Leader application

After reading this chapter can you answer the following questions? Do you know the organizations’ vision, mission, core values, and strategy, and can tell other people about them? Do you share a sense of energy and excitement about being a part of the organization? Is there a shared sense that everyone has a role in the direction of the organization’s mission? Are you inspiring them to greatness and greater accomplishments? Are you leading by example and through words of encouragement?


Leadership Thought Question

Who inspires you as a leader?

F(X) Leadership Insight

The Motto “Inspire or Retire” is a reminder to always inspire yourself and your people. As a leader,
if you can no longer inspire your people it is time to step aside and let someone else take the lead. As a leader, you can choose to fan the flames with inspiration or you can extinguish the flames of your people. By being inspiring you can create a team of motivated people and lead your team to succeed.

This entry was posted in The Emerging Leader Story and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Inspire or Retire!!

  1. Reblogged this on F(X) Leadership Unleashed and commented:

    This is one of the topics of discussion on #TCHAT next Wednesday.

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