Trying to define a successful leader is a complex task. Successful leaders can be any age, ethnic group or gender. In today’s global economy, a successful leader might wear tennis shoes, blue jeans, have salt and pepper hair or drive an electric car to work. Understandably, you cannot stereotype a successful leader.
But what about an inspirational leader? Have you ever worked for a leader who made you excited to drive to work, or be included as a member of their work group? What’s in the DNA of a leader who can inspires others to greatness? An inspirational leader creates passion and excitement within a work group to motivate employees to want to execute with excellence. An inspirational leader turns potential into greatness. Here are some suggestions on how to become an Inspirational leader.
Ask the QUESTIONS
Inspirational leaders are courageous enough to take on the challenge when issues need to be confronted – whether it is redesigning a work process or helping a struggling employee get up to standard. The gossip at the water cooler is a reflection of the buzz in the office. Inspirational leaders confront issues directly and remove obstacles for the benefit of the department. Leaders who face obstacles inspire employees. Be there when employees need you even if it involves just being present. Learn to create harmony among the differences and ask the questions that no one else does.
Inspirational leaders conduct themselves with a high level of ethics and integrity. It is difficult for employees to respect a leader who does not “walk the talk”.
This can manifest itself by leaders who distance themselves from business strategy or leaders who talk negatively about the company or company policy. One of the quickest ways to demonstrate your integrity is to keep you word, your promise and your agreements.
We are all inspired differently. Inspirational leaders have the personal leadership style which motivates others to perform at a high level by making us feel valued and included. Now, that is a powerful combination!
Be Sincere and Authentic
As my mother used to say, “Be an engine and not a caboose.” In other words, do not follow or mimic others’ leadership styles – be your own leader. Your co-workers can tell if you are trying to be someone you are not and will start to question your integrity and sincerity. Determine your personal strengths and personality and use it to help develop your personal leadership style. A critical element of being authentic is openness. Being receptive to feedback and alternative styles or approaches helps build sincerity.
Performance and job retention are higher when employees trust the leader. One of the quickest ways to develop trust is to demonstrate an interest in your employees. Demonstrate that you care about them as a person not just as an employee. Simple things such as birthday cards or discussions about family members demonstrate concern and interest in them as individuals. When you get to know the people on your team, things start to fall into place and positive momentum follows.