I’ve always loved inspiration boards. As a teenager, I covered my bedroom walls with layers of Benetton ads and poignant hair-band lyrics. (Just like every night has its dawn…every rose has its thorn.)
These days, my inspirations have changed but I still like to look up from a tough problem, or lean back after a difficult call, and see the things that inspire me…as a manager, as a writer and as a mom.
Ann Friedman suggests that our teenage bedroom and locker decorating has evolved into the current popularity of Pinterest and Tumblr. And while I like those mediums, I’m inherently more tactile. And lazy. I need my inspirations to be accessible without requiring the foresight to open my web browser. So I recommend having the things that inspire you as a manager on an actual board (or cube wall or clipboard or whatever you’ve got).
With all that in mind, here are some ideas for creating a Manager’s Inspiration Board.
Inspiring or motivational quotes – The one above from John Butler Yeats is a favorite reminder to myself to keep finding new challenges.
Your dream workspace – Designers use mood boards to capture the atmosphere or feeling they want to create in a new space. You can do this, too, with clippings, fabrics and color swatches.
Elements of your management philosophy – What management truths do you hold to be self-evident?
Your personal, and/or your company’s, mission statement – Ideally, these two things are in harmonious synergy.
Symbols of why your job matters to you – Maybe this is a picture of the people you serve. Or your smiling team after a productive retreat. Or your kids.
Ideas to revisit – Include a place to capture all your brilliant, but not really applicable at the moment, ideas.
How about you? What things are on your inspiration board?