The Ultimate Guide to Building a Culture That Thrives: Inspiring Your Team with Jacqui Obeng

The Ultimate Guide to Building a Culture That Thrives: Inspiring Your Team with Jacqui Obeng

In the fast-paced world of business, the quest for motivation often dominates managerial discussions. However, renowned UK business coach Jacqui Obeng argues that the pursuit of motivation is a futile endeavor. In this guide, we delve into the brutal truth – you can’t motivate anyone, but you can inspire them. Jacqui unveils the key principles of building a thriving workplace culture that goes beyond coercion and taps into the transformative power of inspiration.

Hiring for Attitude:

Jacqui starts by emphasizing the importance of hiring for attitude. Drawing from her experience, she suggests looking for individuals with a side hustle, demonstrating grit and determination. Sporting backgrounds and service-oriented work experiences are also valuable indicators. Jacqui employs the Gallup Strength Assessment, focusing on traits like achiever, responsibility, and focus, to identify candidates who align with the desired attitude.

The Trap of Coercion Over Culture:

Jacqui debunks the myth of coercion, highlighting its short-term gains and long-term pitfalls. Coercion, she argues, leads to a team willing to work but lacking loyalty. Instead, Jacqui advocates for building a healthy culture that thrives on inspiration, fostering loyalty and commitment from team members.

Motivation vs. Inspiration:

The distinction between motivation and inspiration is crucial. While motivation is internal and self-generated, inspiration is external, creating an environment that fuels the internal motivation of team members. Jacqui underscores the significance of crafting an inspiring workplace that encourages self-motivation.

Six Pillars of an Inspiring Workplace:

  1. Don’t Uninspire: Easier Said Than Done: Jacqui urges leaders to eliminate demotivating factors actively. From addressing uninspiring onboarding experiences to eradicating toxic team members, the focus is on removing obstacles that hinder enthusiasm.

  2. The Purpose-Driven Workspace: Being Part of Something Bigger: Organizations need a clear purpose that goes beyond financial success. Jacqui encourages leaders to articulate their mission, making employees feel part of a larger movement rather than just having a job.

  3. Streamline for Success: The Devil’s in the Details: Attention to detail matters. Outdated technology, convoluted processes, or uninspiring workspaces can be motivation killers. Jacqui emphasizes that investing in these seemingly ‘little things’ is an investment in inspiration.

  4. A Culture of Communication: Open Dialogue and Honest Feedback: The era of top-down communication is over. Jacqui advocates for open dialogue, where all team members are encouraged to share ideas. Weekly check-ins and honest feedback contribute to a culture where everyone feels valued.

  5. Core Values Aren’t Just Words: Living Your Principles: Core values should guide daily behavior and decision-making, not just adorn the office walls. Jacqui shares examples of organizations where living their values became a magnetic force for attracting the right talent.

  6. Authenticity: The Bedrock of Trust: Authenticity is not a buzzword; it’s the foundation of trust. Jacqui emphasizes that no amount of perks can compensate for a lack of authenticity, and when people feel part of something real, inspiration and motivation skyrocket.

Implementing an Inspirational Culture:

Jacqui concludes by stressing the importance of implementing the six pillars into the fabric of the organization. It’s an ongoing process that, when done right, creates a snowball effect, inspiring the team to inspire each other and establishing a culture that attracts and retains top talent.


In the end, Jacqui circles back to the initial premise – you can’t motivate anyone. However, by creating a profoundly inspiring culture, leaders empower their teams to bring their best selves to work willingly. The guide challenges leaders to be catalysts, lighting beacons of inspiration that guide the way for everyone in the organization.

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