Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
Improving your ability to provide inspirational leadership can lead to more success for senior business executives and their organisations.
You could argue that the most important attribute of a leader is their ability to inspire others. Successful leaders are able to mobilise and motivate people inside and outside their organisation, to deliver the organisation’s key strategies and objectives. The more you as a leader can develop your ability to provide inspirational leadership, the more successful you are likely to be, the more successful your people are likely to be and the more successful your organisation is likely to be.
When we talk about inspiration and influence we are referring to it in the most positive sense. Inspiring in a way that takes into account the needs and objectives of all stakeholders, and influences them in an ethical way. Influencing in an “I win, you lose” way is neither advisable nor sustainable. This is about leadership inspiring a direct report to step up in a way that benefits both the organisation and the direct reports fulfilment and career prospects, it is about inspiring a prospect to give you their custom delivering significant revenue to you, and providing them with increased value over their current supplier relationship.
So what are the two core foundation stones from which leaders inspire? They are:
- your thinking/attitude;
- your relationship with the other person or party.
This may seem obvious, yet in our experience when the ability to inspire is compromised, it is often these areas that are overlooked and these areas that make the biggest difference.
a) Thinking and attitude: Think back to when someone had a positive influence on you, when they motivated you to perform at a higher level, inspired you to develop or change. My guess is they cared for you, they thought well of you and they wanted the best for you.
b) Relationships: Inspiration is much more likely to occur when you have taken some time to connect with the other person or party. The more rapport you have, the more likely it is that your efforts to inspire and influence will gain traction.
Take some time to reflect on those who you have successfully inspired and those you wish to inspire more. In the latter case check your thinking and attitude towards the person, take time to get to know them over a coffee or a wine and then don’t be surprised when your efforts to influence and inspire them deliver greater results.