What Makes An Inspiring Leader

People follow what they feel. Look at anyone taking action in the world, and you will find that they’re motivated on some level by emotion. Sure, there’s necessity and survival; logic and habit – but even within these reasons, people are still following what they feel. We follow inspiration, not instructions.

If we are moved by a great cause, an incredible person, a compelling need, then we will move mountains. If we are indifferent, we will barely build molehills. When we are emotionally engaged, we rise to the challenge, taking action. Think about the last time you were really motivated to do something. What were the emotions you were experiencing at the time? Chances are that you were feeling very positive towards the goal you were moving to; or very negative about the thing you were moving away from; but there was definitely an emotion involved.

Emotional payoffs are found in everything we do – and that goes for the workplace as well. In order to elicit certain behaviors that will lead to the desired outcomes, Leaders have two choices. We can choose to manipulate the emotions and outcomes of our Team by negative means like bullying, intimidation and fear – or we can take the high road. We can choose to inspire, invigorate and coach, assisting others to find positive emotional outcomes through their work. Focusing on inspiration can be an eye-opening experience for yourself and those around you. As you shift your focus to what inspires people, you will come to understand the best parts of human behavior; you will also discover and bring forth the best parts of yourself. Inspiration is a lofty idea – it appeals to the very highest parts of who we are. It reveals to us the strength to do things we never imagined were possible. Inspiration then, is clearly a far more effective tool to assist your Team than fear-based action. We know that emotions drive human behavior – this is the current reality for your Team and your workplace every day.

Consider your own current situation in the workplace. What are the tasks that you feel compelled to do; the ones you can perform with ease? What are the positive emotional outcomes for you, when you complete these tasks? A feeling of satisfaction or achievement perhaps, or the emotional payoff of a pat on the back or recognition for a project completed. On the other hand, what are the tasks that you hesitate to do, put off or even downright refuse to do? Are they the ones that have some kind of an emotionally negative payoff for you – or perhaps you have no real connection to them? Do they fail to juice you up, get you going or inspire you? Examine your current situation and you will find this to be true.

What emotional tools are you currently using in encouraging and leading others around you? Are you using fear? Is your Team motivated to action by the need to comply or be part of the group, in response to intimidation tactics? Or are you speaking to the higher purpose of your Team and using a combination of methods and tools to assist them to get a positive outcome? Are you providing rewards in a variety of ways, in ways that matter (emotionally) to your staff? Whatever the system you’re currently using, the results will speak for themselves. If your Team barely do the minimum that is required to get the job done, there’s room for improvement. If your Team are performing well and occasionally showing signs of going beyond, then you already have some degree of inspiration already working for you – and we want to help you take it to the next level.

Throughout history all Leaders, famous, infamous and unknown, have all possessed the ability to inspire others into action. They present a vision so compelling it assists us to overcome any fears we have about taking action and we simply choose to believe. Through that belief we form the energy and commitment to move forward into a new unknown. We say goodbye to the comforts of the present and look with hope to the future for an even better reality. We take part in creating this through the application of our efforts, our energy, our intelligence and our hard work to be a part of something great.

At its heart, inspiration is driven by a giant, clear vision that is powerful enough to take on an emotional life of its own for your people to relate to, in all kind of ways. Connecting people with the dream and allowing them to truly participate in its creation is key to inspiring great performance. When our people are inspired, their actions take a life of their own. They move in creative, spontaneous and deeply personal ways we could never have dreamed of, contributing to a richer, fuller picture than any Leader can create alone. Inspiration is the magical part of people’s performance where connections that never previously existed suddenly materialize and new thoughts and ways of being and doing business are created. Inspiration does not ask how or why, it simply says, “Let’s go!”. It fires up action and re-ignites the sparks of greatness.

At Inspiration Leaders, we believe that inspiration is the essence of great Leadership and allows us to harness the power that our Team cannot see within themselves. It is a simple and heartfelt cry, ‘Come with me, I am dreaming of something great. I don’t know how we will get there, but let’s go together.’ This call must be woven into the everyday fabric of business and our interactions with others in the workplace. It must become a central part of who we are and what we do to lead. Providing inspiration is a foundation of great Leadership – but the seeds of inspiration can be found among your Team. It’s not just the Leader’s job. In fact creating an atmosphere where inspiration is possible from all sources is infinitely richer and more rewarding than creating a Leader-centred culture. Ultimately what’s required from the Leader is create an environment where inspiration flourishes by itself in large and small ways.

Do you want to become a more Inspiring Leader? Make sure you try the sample seven part Leadership Course at Inspiration Leaders. With over 30 years experience in Leadership, the team at Inspiration Leaders have discovered the secrets of outstanding team performance.

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