How to be a More Inspirational Leader

Whenever I ask people in leadership positions where they need the most help I hear, “I need to be more inspiring.” “I need to help my people be more motivated.” Those are common responses. So is the response I get when I ask “what are you doing about that? The answer to that question is most often crickets! 

Becoming a more inspiring leader requires a combination of personal qualities, effective communication, and the ability to motivate and empower others. Here are some key steps you can take to enhance your leadership in a way that inspires those around you.

  1. Lead by example. This one is huge. Whether you are a great leader, a crappy leader or somewhere in between you are leading by example. Your people are always watching you. They are watching to see if your words line up with your actions. They are watching to see if the “rules” that apply to them apply to you as well. They are watching to see if they can trust you. They are watching to see if you are worth following. They are always watching. Inspiring leaders demonstrate the qualities and behaviors they expect from their team members. You must be a role model who embodies integrity, passion, commitment, and a strong work ethic. When others see your dedication and positive attitude, they are more likely to be motivated and inspired to follow suit. Never forget, your people will do what YOU do about a thousand times faster than they will do what you say. 
  1. Communicate your vision. Clearly articulate your vision and goals to your team. Frequently. Help them understand the purpose and significance of their work. Provide context and explain how their contributions fit into the bigger picture. Effective communication helps create a shared sense of purpose and inspires people to work towards a common goal.
  1. Be a good listener. Actively listen to your team members and show genuine interest in their ideas, concerns, and feedback. In fact, don’t just show genuine interest, BE genuinely interested. Encourage open and honest communication. Create an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. By considering different perspectives, you can make better-informed decisions and inspire trust and respect among your team.
  1. Provide meaningful feedback. Offer constructive feedback and praise when appropriate. Recognize and acknowledge the accomplishments and efforts of your team members. Regularly provide guidance and support to help individuals grow and develop their skills. When people feel their work is appreciated and they receive guidance for improvement, they become more motivated and inspired.
  1. Foster a positive work culture. Cultivate a positive and inclusive work environment where individuals feel safe to express their ideas and take risks. Encourage collaboration, teamwork, and creativity. Celebrate successes and create opportunities for team-building activities. A positive work culture promotes enthusiasm and inspiration among team members.
  1. Empower and delegate. Trust your team members and empower them to take ownership of their work. Delegate tasks and responsibilities, allowing individuals to grow and develop their skills. Provide the necessary resources, support, and autonomy for them to succeed. When people feel trusted and empowered, they become more motivated and inspired to achieve their best.
  1. Develop your emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and effectively relate to others. Developing emotional intelligence helps you connect with your team on a deeper level, show empathy, and navigate challenging situations with grace. By understanding and responding to the emotions of others, you can inspire and motivate them more effectively.
  1. Continuously learn and grow. Stay curious and committed to your own personal and professional growth. Seek opportunities for learning, whether through books, courses, seminars, or mentors. A leader who is constantly evolving and expanding their knowledge inspires others to do the same.

If you have been paying attention to this blog the last several weeks you’ll have likely noticed that each one of those steps have been covered in greater detail. Authentic Leaders help people succeed. They help common people achieve uncommon results by pushing them towards their full potential. Authentic Leaders know the way to success, they show the way to success and most importantly, they go the way to success. 

Remember, inspiring leadership is a continuous journey.  One that requires self-reflection, adaptability, and a genuine desire to positively impact others. By embodying these principles, you can inspire and empower your team to achieve greatness together. That is the essence of Authentic Leadership. 

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!