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Of all leadership attributes, one shines out as a common factor among the very best leaders: great leaders inspire greatness in others. They transfer their belief in vision and mission to their employees, creating the engagement needed to develop a high-performing team.
In this article, you’ll learn a few strategies used by the most inspirational of leaders.
Inspirational leaders are highly motivational. They give their employees meaning and a sense of purpose. The greatest have influenced history. Leaders such as Sir Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi inspired millions of people in their beliefs and the actions they were willing to take to help shape the world in which we now live.
In the business world, leaders like Jack Welch, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have created companies in which whole workforces are united behind a common vision and collective goals.
Great leaders are passionate about what they do. The secret to inspiring this in others is to communicate this passion. When an inspirational leader speaks, his or her audience listens. They become infused with a collective ambition, and this enthusiasm snowballs through a team and an organization.
Leaders who lead with passion give their team direction. This was evident in the way that Steve Jobs led Apple, particularly the second time round.
Having been forced out of the company he founded, Jobs went on to create the company that bought Apple after its fortunes headed south without him. In the late 1990s, Steve Jobs told Apple employees to “Think different”. So was born a new innovative era for Apple, conceived and nurtured by the passion and vision of Steve Jobs.
Leaders who have belief in their vision can create that belief in others, as value-led objectives become collective goals. They are determined to see their vision become reality, and communicate resilience to their team. They create an energy and enthusiasm that is infectious and will guide people through the most difficult periods.
When Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, it became the vision of millions. The commitment to a collective goal to create a more equal society became the driving force behind a worldwide movement.
Inspirational leaders are often found at the coalface, with their sleeves rolled up, with their troops, displaying the behaviors expected of their people. At GE, Jack Welch got his hands dirty. He got out of the office and among his teams to better understand day-to-day activities and issues.
Leaders who set such an example are easier to identify with, and the behaviors they example are easier to copy and paste. The best leaders meet challenges head on, allow people to voice concerns and ask questions, and answer with conviction.
Committed, enthusiastic leaders create excitement. This excitement motivates individuals and teams, developing an energy for inclusion in problem solving and decision making. With a sense of belonging, employees evolve into a family – a close-knit team pulling in one direction.
Passionate leaders with poor communication skills fail to inspire. Good communicators who lack passion for their message are equally likely to fail to inspire.
Inspirational leaders have an ability to communicate their values, beliefs and vision with passion. They do so daily, and via multiple communication channels. These may include team meetings, one-to-ones, emails, forums, presentations, and so on. Keywords that shape conversations include openness, honesty and enthusiasm. Challenges are discussed and reshaped as opportunities to energize people behind a noble cause.
During World War II, Sir Winston Churchill laid out the gravity of Britain’s situation to its people. He also laid out the opportunities that overcoming the challenges faced would create. He spoke about his vision, and was open about the strategies that the nation would use to achieve its goals. The rest, as they say, is history.
The world is evolving at an ever-increasing pace. Organizational hierarchies have flattened. Teams are more diverse, and leaders must build trust in globally remote organizations. In the current and future business environment, leaders will not be able to coerce engagement – they must inspire it.
By embodying an influencing leadership style to engage employees, in which passion and communication skills work as equal partners to inspire greatness in others, the leader will be more effective at developing high-performing teams united behind the organization’s vision.
For further insight into how to develop your leadership capabilities to develop high-performing teams, contact Primeast today and discover how our Management Development Series could help you become more emotionally intelligent and better influence your people.
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