Do NOT hire your next "motivational speaker" until you read this first. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
This may frustrate many of my motivational speaker friends, but I'm offering a perspective based on observation.
A report just came in that said, for the third year in a row, life expectancy in the United States is going down. This is unheard of in a modern, industrial country. That hasn't happened in 100 years when this country faced World War II and the massive flu pandemic. The "tools of despair" (suicide and drug overdose) are the main causes of this trend...
In the face of all this, we are inundated with motivational speakers and positive thinking gurus with books and tapes who will tell you if you just think differently, life will work better for you.
Let me offer another perspective.
The idea behind hiring a motivational speaker is to have the speaker provide you and your working colleagues with motivation to go above and beyond the usual. I would contend that speeches are not enough. It's really an issue of whether or not you have tools and resources that allows you to do great things in this time of dramatic societal transition. Pay attention to the message that's coming out of the Universal Basic Income tests done around the world...
"Anecdotal evidence and nearly all empirical research has shown that unconditional cash transfers help people help themselves. Recipients often use the income to pay for their kids' school fees, buy medicine, repair their homes, and invest in their small businesses to further grow their wealth. While some use the money for so-called "temptation goods," as economists call them, the majority of recipients defy the stereotype that people in poverty somehow lack moral character or responsibility." -- "A village In Kenya Is quietly disproving the biggest myths about basic income". Business Insider, December 30th, 2017.
"After Ontario launched its pilot, recipients began detailing how their lives had changed; the funds had afforded them healthier food, warm clothes for winter and even a long-postponed visit to the dentist. Others used the funds to go back to school or invest in their own businesses." -- Ontario's new Conservative government to end basic income experiment The Guardian December 1st, 2018
"The Finnish researchers also did a survey of treatment and control group members at the end of 2018 to assess their subjective sense of well-being after two years of the experiment. The survey showed significant improvements in how people felt about their health and prospects if they received the unconditional income." --- In Finland, Money Can Buy You Happiness -- Bloomberg, February 9th. 2019
From Canada to Kenya to Finland, the evidence has shown that the real driver for people to pursue their dreams, live a better quality of life, develop a better sense of well-being and go above and beyond what they usually would do is not a good speech, but good and reliable resources.
I would submit that the Nordic countries don't have motivational speaker Tony Robbins visiting them more than any other country, yet they have the highest standard of living in the world and register the happiest societies with the highest investment in social welfare for their people...
No one had to walk on hot coals to create this quality of life.
The world we're moving into requires more than a pep rally or mind over matter tricks, but a new set of values, ideas, visions and tools that are agile enough to navigate climate change, income inequality and automation unemployment.
Don't get me wrong, motivational speakers can be entertaining and exciting to your audience, but that doesn't mean you can't hold them to a higher standard as demanded by the times we live in. Here are some questions you should ask:
1. Does the motivational speaker offer advice based on the world that was or the world that's emerging?
2. Do they bring takeaway tools and resources that can be used to invest in your people or organization?
3. Do they have a diversity of experiences to draw from to reflect your diverse organization?
4. Can they credibly talk about the level of change that's happening in society or is it beyon them?
5. Do they have an inspiring vision forward, filled with humor, courage and possibilities?
Before hiring your next motivational guru, make sure they come with resources with their finger on the pulse of the immediate future to empower your team . A good speech is nice. Resources and a vision forward are better.
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org