Feb 06 Key Secrets to Be a Highly Inspirational Leader
You can lead a horse to water, but unless it’s thirsty it’s not going to drink. Likewise, you can illustrate your vision with bullet points and slides. But to really move people to action, you have to connect with them on a deeper, more powerful level.
Many corporate leaders have oodles of experience and talent. But they lack the persuasive, inspirational quality needed to motivate people. That’s required if you want to achieve healthy organizational DNA and drive successful initiatives.
Many of my clients who occupy high-level positions used to think that if you were not born with that kind of charisma, you’d never have it. But I’m the poster child for dispelling that myth. People who see me giving keynotes on large stages, addressing thousands of people at a time, find it hard to believe that I was a terrible introvert. If I can acquire the traits of an inspirational leader, anyone can…and that includes you. I’m going to share three of the secrets that can empower you, too, to be an influential, motivational leader to boost your team’s morale and productivity.
Webster defines inspiration as the power to influence and move the intellect or emotions of others. That requires some strategic planning, a big dose of empathy and active listening, and the ability to delegate responsibility to others in order to facilitate their own individual and organizational growth.
1) Build an Inspired Talent Pipeline
There is an old saying that it may be hard to wake a person who is asleep, but it’s impossible to wake someone who is pretending to be asleep. In this context, if you have people on your team who don’t want to be inspired, don’t waste your precious energy.Be an influential, motivational leader to boost your team's morale and productivity Click To Tweet
Those folks got on the wrong bus, and it’s part of your leadership responsibility to acknowledge that fact and redirect them elsewhere. Then recruit people to replace them who are eager to learn and will support you and their teammates. So the first step in becoming a truly inspirational leader is to build a talented team and pipeline.
Bring new leaders aboard who embrace a positive, solution-oriented, inclusive and collaborative mindset. When others see your results…and the kind of team you’ve designed…those who are self-starters and eager to grow will seek you out. That makes recruiting top talent much easier. Now you have a reputation for high-spirited excellence and the ability to take a diamond in the rough and polish it into a high-yield asset.
2). Develop Leaders with Entrepreneurial Spirit
Stop being a micro-manager. Remember, you’re no longer in a merely managerial position. You’re in that higher echelon where you are expected to inspire and develop. View the people on your team as legitimate leaders. Push them to embrace an entrepreneurial spirit.
Unless you hand them the reins of greater responsibility, they’ll never optimize their potential. Give them full responsibility to run their segment of the business. Then hold them 100% accountable for achieving top results. Let them feel the weight of their leadership role, so that they get past the comfort zone and acquire leadership gravitas that expresses itself as authentic executive presence. Obviously, you’ll need to spend time coaching and developing them to expand their capabilities. That’s a commitment you have to make if you want to be an inspiration to them.
Keep in mind that a big part of inspiring others is to celebrate their success milestones. Recognize them for their great contributions. Because they look to you for affirmation, that kind of personal support, encouragement, and acknowledgment will fuel their development. You are their coach now. Act the part.
3) Find a Deep Connection with Each Team Member
The truly iconic coaches in any field lead by tapping into a very personal emotional connection with those whom they lead. You need to get to know their goals, dreams, and professional aspirations. That requires taking the time to develop those relationships as a mentor.
They will walk through fire for you if they are convinced that you are invested in their career success. Plus, this kind of leadership is much more satisfying and rewarding for you. Instead of just going to work each day, you are actively creating your own living legacy of leadership.
Remember that it’s not what you say, but how you frame your messages to resonate and emotionally connect with your audience. If you want people to be inspired to achieve bigger and more dramatic results, speak with a sense of authority. But also let them know that you believe in them, and have high expectations. Remind them that none of you can accomplish individually what you can achieve when you embrace a team spirit and collaborative approach.
Leadership means convincing people to push beyond their perceived limitations and to work as a team. Practice these strategies to be a motivator, not just a manager. Your teams, and each person on them, will excel…as they contribute exponentially more and develop into future leaders under your inspiring guidance. As they grow, so will your own reputation and success.
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Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Deloitte, McKesson, Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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