In this series of blogs, we consider how you can Inspire, Support & Elevate your team.
How do you Inspire your team?
If you consider leaders that have inspired you, what is it that they’ve done to inspire you? What makes leaders inspirational?
There are several things that make a leader inspirational. Below you will find 6 key areas that make leaders inspirational.
The inspirational leader feels passionate about the vision and mission of the organisation. They are able to share their passion in order to make others passionate too. By explaining to your staff your vision and the “big picture”, it puts their role into perspective and gives meaning to the tasks they perform daily. When John F. Kennedy, Us President visited NASA in 1962 he asked a man what he was doing. The man, a cleaner replied, well I’m helping put a man on the moon. The cleaner understood how keeping NASA clean helped in its overall vision to put a man on the moon.
Do your staff know what your company’s vision is? Have you communicated the big picture? Are you passionate about the vision and do you portray that passion?
Communication is key and that’s not just about communicating your message but listening to your staff, allow their ideas and thoughts to shape the goals of the organisation. An open door policy encourages them to contribute their ideas and gives them a feeling of self-worth. Don’t rush communication or think one response fits all. You need to consider the message you want to get across and how best that may be portrayed. Time taken on communicating effectively ensures that messages are not misunderstood or interpreted.
Consider how you communicate to your team. Do you give it sufficient time? Is your message interpreted effectively? Consider the different communication methods you use. Do you tend to use the same method eg. E-mail? What effect would it have if you varied the medium of your communication?
Invictus 2009 – Leadership and Inspiration video
Inspirational leaders are trustworthy. Have you worked for a leader that you didn’t trust? What effect did that have on you and how you performed in your role?
Leaders inspire others to look up to them by telling the truth, having integrity with what they promise and conducting themselves in an ethical way. By modelling the traits you want to see in others, you earn the respect of those around you. Leaders that don’t “walk the talk” generally don’t get very far. By doing this staff will have pride in the company and be more engaged which will have a positive impact on their performance.
Do your team trust and respect you?
Are you grateful to your team? When did you last thank a member of your team for the work they did? We all like to be valued and recognised for what we do and don’t like it when we feel our efforts have gone unnoticed. Small gestures of gratitude can go a long way –a thank you, an email saying well done, buying breakfast for the team when they’ve achieved a milestone. All of these gestures plus others can help inspire and bolster your team.
We can often be quick to criticise but not so quick to say well done.
5. Face Challenges
An inspired leader will face challenges head on. They will face up to challenging situations and deal with them honestly. When dealing with challenges, such as a downturn in the business, it’s important to have regular communications with your staff, informing them of how the business is reacting to the challenges, helps staff to trust you and minimises the gossip. Staff respect leaders that deal with challenges head on.
Today, change is a constant and an effective leader needs to be able to deal with and manage change effectively for the business and it’s employees.
How do you deal with challenges and could you be more effective in dealing with them?
6. Stay Curious
Stay curious. Good leaders remain curious and are committed to learning. They are always looking for new ideas, insights and information whether that be through reading books, listening to TED talks, listening to podcasts or other activities. Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, a leadership training company, said “That the most successful leaders I know are truly very curious people. They’re interested in things around them and that contributes to their vision”.
How curious are you? When was the last time you did some learning?
You may say you don’t have time but you could spend 10-15 minutes per day reading a book or focus on some learning. This could be on your commute to work, in the evening or whilst walking the dog. If you spend 10 minutes per day Monday – Friday learning that equates to 5 days learning a year (based on 48 working weeks/year). Can you afford not to do it?
How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Simon Sinek
Why Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek
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