Where Do You Find Inspiration?

PR News recently honored in Washington, D.C., its People to Watch—PR professionals age 30 or under who have already established themselves as leaders within their own organizations. Leading up to our Nov. 29 luncheon event we asked them who or what has inspired them in their PR career. Many of our young honorees mentioned the veteran PR pros who took a chance on them when they first started out and who continue to play mentor roles.

Some of the other sources of inspiration they mentioned are especially illuminating—for me they serve as reminders that sources of inspiration are all around us. We just have to open our eyes. Are younger people more likely to find inspiration all around them? I suspect so, sadly. As an eye-opener, here are some of the sources of inspiration they mentioned:

1. A life partner: Direct Energy’s Julie Hendry said her husband was a source of inspiration—”he makes me want to be better, both in my career and personal life.”

2. A grandparent: Another People to Watch honoree said his grandfather was a source of inspiration.  “He was an orphan with no education who faked documents to join the Navy at 16, but he was the center of attention and life of the party everywhere he went,” said Albe Zakes of TerraCycle. “Watching how he used humor and kindness in a casual, honest way to win friends (and influence people) left a lasting mark on me that later drew me to PR.”

3. Siblings: Jeamy Molina of Oncor Electric Delivery said her younger siblings inspire her to be a motivational force. “I’m the oldest of four and I’ve always tried to do things that will motivate my siblings to do well and just be a good example for them,” she told us. “Making sure they have someone to look up to and be proud of is the driving force behind any of my successes.”

Perhaps you see a theme developing here. Are you looking for inspiration in your life and in your work? A good place to start is with the people closest to you—your family. Sometimes those of us above 30 miss the obvious.

Who inspires you in your life and work?

Steve Goldstein

On Twitter: @SGoldsteinAI