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October 13, 2021

For leaders, apathy in a team member can be the ultimate frustration. But according to business and life strategist Tony Robbins, there are ways to inspire.

First, never call anyone “lazy,” says Robbins, who himself is a tsunami of energy. Dubbed the “CEO whisperer,” Robbins has gone from a deeply troubled childhood to a leadership coach running more than 30 companies expecting to do $6 billion in sales in 2017.

 “Labeling someone ‘lazy’ is the worst thing you can do, because that just shuts [them] down and now it’s a character defect,” says Robbins.

Instead, find out what they are passionate about to help them define their goals.

“Your goals affect you, whatever they are,” says Robbins.

It’s a leader’s job to help employees see that everyone has goals, but perhaps those goals are not serving them well.

“Yes, you do you have a goal to get through the day; you have a goal to make it through this next hour; you have a goal to get your coffee,” says Robbins. But with those sorts of goals “you’re not going to find much of your spirit and soul awakened.


“You’ve got to find something that is a motive — that is their motive — in other words something that fulfills them. Or you’ve got to move them to a place where they can do something where they are fulfilled,” says Robbins.

Next, “Show them how to meet their needs through the company’s goals as well, at least some of their needs, and then you’re going to unleash the power of your organization.”

The other way for a leader to connect with an unmotivated employee is to take them outside the office to do something physically active, suggests Robbins.

“Go for a run with them, go do something physical because a lot of times with the laziness is the more we sit today, people don’t move!

“You know, today everybody’s on: they live in a box, they get in their box car after their box breakfast, they have their box lunch, in their box office. They drive to their box home they open the box refrigerator.

“Grab a cylinder to change their state you know? We just don’t move,” says Robbins.

Being active increases natural endorphins, but it also gives the seemingly “lazy” employee and the leader an opportunity to connect in a different environment.

“It will create a different bond with you,” says Robbins.

Ultimately, being a successful leader requires being able to emotionally connect with many types of individuals.

“You’ve really got to be a practical psychologist,” says Robbins. “You’ve really got to be able to understand what do people fear, what do they desire, what do they need, what are they worried about.”