Thursday Thoughts: Leaders Inspire

"Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe."                                                                                                             -Winston Churchill   The ability to inspire people to reach new heights is a strong attribute that top-notch leaders possess. Passion and purpose, along with solid listening skills, are characteristics that lead to inspiration. Communicating that passion, purpose and meaning is what helps to establish an organization’s culture.   Success in inspiring people requires trust, vision and care. Employees must trust their leader, see a clear vision for the company to move forward and a plan for getting everyone there.   That trust is critical. People are not willing to recognize someone as their leader unless they trust them, not just intellectually, but ethically and morally as well. Likewise, people won't follow someone unless they're convinced that person knows where they're going.   Inspiration requires a leader to show by example rather than telling others to be inspired. Here are five ways to instill trust and inspiration in others:  

  • Include others. People need to feel closely connected to the actions and process that lead to decisions and the accomplishment of goals.
  • Feel passion and share it. The inspirational leader is passionate about the vision and mission of the organization. This leader is able to share that passion in a way that spreads it to others.
  • Possess genuine integrity: Integrity inspires others to follow.
  • Listen. When others feel you are listening to their opinions and needs, they will be inspired to work with you.
  • Provide solutions. An inspirational leader gives people what they want within his or her capabilities.

So, you might ask, how can you become an inspirational leader?   Realize that inspirational leadership is a fundamental shift in your state of mind. Understand how important personal appreciation and recognition is to maintaining a motivated workforce. Once your team has an inspirational vision, involve everyone in how you will achieve this picture of success.   You can build a personal brand identity as an inspirational leader by embracing the mindset that you will be the one who brings out the best in your people.   Choose to be an inspirational leader today and convert work into purpose.