Are you an inspirational leader? How would you describe yourself? What would your staff say?
An inspirational leader brings out the best from staff members. The staff resonates with energy, enthusiasm, and a willingness to go the extra mile. So how does a leader achieve this?
- Respect their staff. Inspirational leaders hire talented staff and respect their expertise, opinions and ideas. Inspirational leaders do not micro-manage or second guess every decision their subordinates make
- Share the fame and take the blame. They recognize that accomplishments are the product of many people, and they acknowledge that the buck stops with them.
- Praise in public and correct in private.
- Give staff the resources to do the job. They don’t expect staff to “pull a rabbit out of the hat” without providing both the wildlife and the headgear.
- Ask before they tell. They encourage objections and opinions from their staff, and use these to help form their decisions.
- Are not lemmings. They don’t follow the crowd over the cliff.
- Are engaged. They question, analyze and contribute to the decision process rather than simply passing down orders from above.
- Follow the rules. They hold themselves to the same standards of accountability and responsibility they hold others.
- Avoid last minute crises. “I want it now” might be within their power, but it is not within their vocabulary.
- Are emotionally mature. They remain calm. They do not rage, demean or bully.
- Know their staff. They take the time to develop a professional relationship and understand the unique qualities of each person reporting to them.
- Walk the walk. They pitch in and do whatever it takes – helping staff by moving tables and chairs, or picking up litter in a corridor. “That’s not my job” never crosses their minds.
- Delegate wisely. They give the staff authority and resources to match responsibilities.
- Respect the budget. Just because they want something doesn’t mean they demand it at any cost.
- Are genuine. They know that inspirational leadership has nothing to do with designer clothes and a plastic smile. Inspirational leadership comes from within and radiates to serve others.
Inspirational leaders enhance not only their own performance, but also the performance of their team. Small changes can make a big difference. Be a real leader. Be an inspiration.
How do you compare? What would you add to this list? What are the most challenging aspects of leadership?