As a leader, your role is to create an environment where your team can be their best.
I’ve often thought about how I can be an inspirational leader. So I started to pay attention to what inspires me in other leaders. I came to the conclusion that there are two things that inspire me; leaders that have an unwavering belief in their cause and leaders that believe in me, even when I may not believe in myself.
We all have different things that inspire us, but if this resonates with you, then it’s something that you can develop by building a deeper understanding of your own beliefs, and being willing to evolve those with new insights. As you take on a new project, study it until you understand the purpose of the project, recognize the positive impact it could make and believe in what you are doing.
To inspire others in this way, you have to first believe in what you’re doing so much that it inspires them to want to believe. You can’t force inspiration on to someone, but you can create an environment that allows even the smallest spark in them to ignite. An excerpt from Marianne Williamson’s 1992 best-selling book, “A Return To Love” is a statement to this:
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Excerpt from Marianne Williamson’s “A Return to Love” (1992).
To get there, study your cause, understand the potential role your business or team can play, and then connect with others where they are to include everyone’s perspective in the conversation. Including everyone in the discussion, incorporating their ideas and developing a plan of action together, solidifies a shared purpose that everyone can connect to.
Lead by example and demonstrate commitment, showing that you’re willing to make personal sacrifices—team success over personal accomplishments, doing the work that needs to be done and demonstrating the humility to stumble, but then learn from that and pick yourself back up.
To inspire your team, you have to get to know them, trust that they want to do their best and appreciate that there’s more than one way to get to a goal. As a leader, your role is to create an environment where your team can be their best, then show them consistently that you believe in them.
Other ways to use inspirational leadership to show your team you believe in them, include:
- Be willing to roll up your sleeves to do any job needed because all jobs matter.
- Listen actively because you truly appreciate their perspective and know that incorporating what people say does influence your thinking and will help you make better decisions and be a better company.
- Be transparent because empowering people with information will help align everyone, cut down on information gaps that can lead to mistrust and perceived hidden agendas, and allow everyone to be part of the journey.
Invest in people and expect that of your leaders. Prove it by investing the most precious resource of time and creating space for personal growth.
Photo by Xan Griffin