Tom Asacker has a great post about the use of motivational speakers. While I like a good motivational speaker—they are nothing if not entertaining—do they really make me change anything? Not hardly. I think they are good at setting a mood and getting some energy going to kick off a conference, but if you want real change to happen, I'm with Tom:
Emerson wrote, "The man of genius inspires us with a boundless confidence in our own powers." That's the way to cut through complacency. Inspire each individual. Show him how he is truly at the heart of the brand and the company's success in the marketplace. Teach him to see clearly, to empathize deeply, and to bring people together for the benefit of others. Encourage him with candid conversation, asking for his help, and really caring about his success and well-being. The secret ingredient for building an engaged organization is not a sprinkling of inspiration. It's passion, insight and a heavy dose of social intelligence.