Leaders from all aspects of life are always in the news. There have also been more books written on leadership for the introvert in recent months. When I got this article from Donna Lee, I wondered, “If the qualities are not personality driven, are any of them more preferred by someone’s style?”
What do you think about any differences between temperament styles to becoming an inspirational leader as you read this guest blogger post?
There are three essential traits that top leaders must possess. These important qualities are concentrating on customer needs, being able to collaborate effectively with colleagues, and being inspiring to others. The first two qualities are easy to define and therefore improve on, but being inspiring is more intangible and difficult to replicate or even explain.
The ability to inspire is also the most important, since it helps foster high levels of employee engagement and commitment, separating effective leadership from average supervision.
The purpose of good leadership is to have great teamwork at and between all levels of an organization. Inspirational leaders are needed from the production floor all the way up to the highest levels of management.
The good news is, inspiring leaders have similar methods and theories that can be studied. This means other leaders can learn to become inspirational by being aware, offering constructive feedback and always having a plan of development.
What Makes a Leader Inspiring?
Some things leaders do are very specific, and therefore can be replicated without using more effort than it takes to remember to do them. Such activities include:
- Setting stretch goals and challenging the team to do more than they thought was possible
- Spend time developing with employees to show not only that the employees are valued, but that the leader finds their work important
- Engage in collaborative activities by actively calling meetings with team members for brainstorming and problem-solving sessions
- Encourage innovation by calling attention to and giving credit for great ideas
Other things are much less specific and more difficult to define or replicate. Being able to make emotional connections with employees, for example, is an important skill for inspirational leaders. Inspiring leaders are also able to, and consistently do, establish and communicate a clear vision for the company. They are also perceived as role models throughout the organization.
The more of these activities and qualities a leader can replicate and exhibit, the better and more inspirational that leader can become, which is good for the entire organization.
How Leaders Inspire
Leaders who are inspirational are also enthusiastic and outgoing. They use a variety of techniques to convey a sense of enthusiasm and keep employees engaged, including the following:
- Vision – Create a compelling vision that the rest of the team can become motivated by.
- Enhancement – Create a meeting with team members and collectively set the goal as a team.
- Driving – Give a challenge and set a deadline.
- Principles – Challenging the team to set goals based on the mission of the company.
- Enthusiasm – Having classic “locker room” pep talks that set the tone of the goal.
- Expertise – Interviewing all team members and establishing which skills they are able to contribute.
All these approaches can be used in combination with each other, at different times, as it’s appropriate. Being able to use multiple different approaches effectively makes leaders more inspirational. The more inspirational the leader, the more successful his team and therefore company can be.
Inspiration can be learned
Actively choosing to become an inspiring leader can deliver positive results. In a study of 310 executives who actively sought to improve their capacity for inspiring others, there was marked improvement. On average, they moved from the 42nd percentile to the 70th percentile, which is an impressive and significant gain, which proves the point that leaders consciously using the right approaches can become more inspiring.
Leaders throughout the company can learn to become inspiring. By actively seeking to improve their ability to inspire others, these leaders can help create a more effective working environment with more engaged and committed team members.
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Image author owned
Donna Lee is the co-founder and the lead sales and business development manager at Dear Jane. She often writes and teaches about how to lead in the account management and sales space.