IBM asked 1,700 CEOs in 64 countries what top executives want from their leaders. In their 2013 study, 3 leadership traits mattered most – “the ability to focus intensely on customer needs, the ability to collaborate with colleagues and the ability to inspire”.
Inspirational leadership is a ticket to creating high levels of employee commitment and engagement. In today’s ever rapidly shifting environments, being rousing gives you a boost to getting things done and motivates people into action.
How do you grow and demonstrate inspirational leadership?
1. Emotional intelligence – growing your emotional intelligence is critical. An inspirational leader is able to turn on a dime to adapt to any situation they are in.
2. Communicating – inspiring leaders are able to create clear and on-going talking points that create transparency in the organization. They are a catalyst for fostering tough conversations with generosity and kindness. Additionally inspiring leaders communicate:
a. Why – clearly explain why actions are being taken in a way that engages emotion and intellect.
b. Create the narrative – paint a picture for how the recent initiatives dramatically impacted and improved the life of your customers and clients. People love testimonials, anecdotes and personal stories.
c. Be consistent – consistently communicate even when there is no news.
3. Aware – inspirational leaders have a level of awareness that combines a 30,000 foot and microscope view.
4. Risk and failure – inspiration means you are willing to take bold steps. If you massively screw up you are willing to shine a bright light on it and take full responsibility.
5. Take on the role of Chief Inspiration Officer – you must be completely passionate because your passion will inspire others.
6. Create the invitation – ask people to be part of giving feedback.
7. Immediacy – deal with issues immediately. No matter what it is, speed is ever most important. Don’t let things linger.
8. Be uncompromising – be relentless in moving in alignment with the values and core mission of the organization. Especially during times of change, will give people a direction to aim.
9. Commit to excellence rather than perfection – nothing is ever perfect. People mess up, make mistakes and trample all over themselves. Aspire for excellence and focusing on quality and develop your team to do the same.
10. Take GREAT care of YOU! – difficult to be inspiring if you are not personally inspired. Create ways to regenerate that feeds your soul. The more you can replenish, the more you can give.
Being an inspiring leader offers tremendous benefit – focuses you on the pulse of what your employees are experiencing daily or moment to moment and allows you to rise up to be the best of who you are.