Are You an Inspirational Leader?

Inspirational leaders don’t try to force their people to drink from the well of success; they inspire them to be thirsty.

Before anyone can achieve their full potential they must be inspired. Some people seem to inspire themselves, many however need someone to inspire them. That “someone” is most often a leader.

Authentic Servant Leaders know that inspiring others requires these specific, intentional action steps:

Inspiring leaders are a model of integrity. They do what they say they will, when they say they will do it. They apply the same rules for everyone yet are not afraid to make exceptions that are fair to all. They create trust at every opportunity. Inspiring leaders know that without integrity there can be no Authentic Leadership.

They set clear, specific, and attainable goals. They give their people a target and they help them reach it. They vision cast and include in the vision a benefit to their people; giving every member of the organization a reason to buy into the vision AND the leader.

To inspire their people these leaders seldom miss an opportunity to provide support and recognition to their people. They spread the recognition around and inspire their people to look past their own self-interests. They coach with a spirit of approval, not criticism and they make mistakes seem easy to correct.

They encourage their people to take well-measured risks. They help them see what’s possible, no matter how improbable it may be. Inspirational leaders don’t just tell the way, they show the way to success.

Inspirational leaders are not afraid of showing their emotions and they regularly stir the emotions of their people. They comfort their people in defeat and praise them in victory. They can show vulnerability and strength at the same time. The hallmark of their leadership is empathy and they are never far from their people’s feelings.

The most inspiring leaders help common people achieve uncommon results. They often see the potential of their people before anyone else, even the individual with the potential. They create hope out of hopelessness and will never ask their people to give more than they can.

Inspirational Leadership gives off a powerfully contagious confidence that builds people and teams into high producing, goal achieving successes.

Leaders who inspire their people will never need their compliance because they will have their commitment. Compliant people do what they must and little more; committed people do more than they ever thought they could.

If you truly want your people to succeed then don’t simply motivate them, inspire them!

10 thoughts on “Are You an Inspirational Leader?

  1. You’ve listed some great points my friend. Good post.

    I was thinking about this for awhile after I first received your post email earlier in the evening. And I wondered… What do we do as leaders when we are the ones that have temporarily run out of inspiration?

    This led me to one of my favorite quotes by Albert Camus that reflects and emphasizes friendship as opposed to leadership on the journey. Bear with me as I bring this up not to be in opposition to your leadership blog; only to provide the basis for my line of thinking. The quote is this:

    ‘Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.’

    I believe I was reminded of this quote after reading your post because it requires a ‘shift’ in order to potentially see all as leaders and encouragers regardless of positions and titles.

    When the boss or leader is ‘down’, then there is nothing to say that an employee who notices can’t stand in the gap for that leader and be a source of encouragement and inspiration. This can happen in any direction…in any organization…in any friendship…or marriage.

    A ‘leader’ isn’t always going to be ‘on’ 100% of the time. They (we) aren’t always going to be on top of our game. Yes, we should be doing all of those things on your list for our people and we also need others who can do that for us as well.

    As for the points that stood our for me the most:

    Integrity. Absolutely! (as much as consciously aware and possible)

    Not afraid of showing their emotions is an important one in this day and age. Vital. Perhaps this is an area where we need to encourage our leaders to let them know it’s OK.

    Some of the other points I can sum up in the idea that if someone else needs something that we can teach them, do it. Our job is to help equip one another. It’s part of our purpose.

    If we see potential in someone, we let them know. When someone sees potential in us, hopefully they won’t assume we already know and will share it.

    All around great point Steve. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I agree 100% – everyone has leadership potential. 80-90% of all leadership within any organization comes from the middle, often from people without positions or titles of leadership. But lead they do!

      And there is little doubt that the best leaders come alongside their followers to help them grow in their own leadership walk.

      Thanks for adding to this post, you’ve once again improved on my writing 🙂

  2. Hey Steve. This post is right in my wheelhouse. I always enjoy your posts. This one particularly spelled out the power of a true inspirational leader. Great work!

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