Decoding Inspirational Leadership
How do you inspire people in your team? Be chirpy in office, or have a constant smile on your face? Keep patting shoulders, or giving daily inspiring sermons? Well, the truth is, if only inspiration were this easy, almost every leader would be inspiring.
So what defines an inspirational leader? The answer to this question is shrouded in mystery and eludes the wisest and smartest leaders out there. Yet, many haven’t given up digging for answers. This has led to questions such as the behavior/characteristic required to be demonstrated in order to inspire others. And not just accidentally or on a one-off occasion, but demonstrated on a daily basis. Is this intangible quality of inspiring others an inherent trait, or can it be learnt?
A Bain & Company Research Report stresses the fact that inspired employees are twice as productive as satisfied employees. The company’s ‘Inspirational Leadership Model’ highlights 33 characteristics that have the potential to inspire. The key takeaway of the report is that an individual can increase his/her inspirational leadership ability by excelling at just a few of these characteristics.
As per the report, to inspire others leaders need to:
- Develop inner resources using characteristics like optimism, flexibility, self-awareness and stress tolerance
- Connect with others in the team by demonstrating humility, empathy, vitality and effective communication
- Lead the team harmoniously by collaborating, empowering, guiding and focusing
- Set the tone by giving others due credit for success, incorporating diverse perspectives, respecting people’s commitment outside of work, and being accountable for one’s own mistakes
Organizations spend billions of dollars on leadership training to reinforce and enhance soft skills that inspire and engage employees. The key here is to encourage people to develop or bolster a few distinguishing traits rather than striving to fix weaknesses.
We, at MYB, believe that each of us possesses inherent strengths and talents. The key is to identify those and focus on calibrating them. Perhaps, that’s the way to build your own inspirational leadership brand. How do you plan to build your leadership legacy?