Earlier this year, we went through a three-part series on the Lost Art of Mentoring. We learned about its importance, how to implement it, and what we get out of it. One aspect of mentoring is inspiring others. As leaders, we understand we are only as good as our team members. So, inspiring those around us to be the best they can be is intrinsically tied to our overall effectiveness as a leader. But, inspiring others is hard enough to explain let alone actually implementing it.
In order to learn how to be an inspiring leader, we must first delve into what inspiration is – and what it’s not. Defined, it’s the manner of being influenced by someone or something to the point of action, which can be anything from changing, being more proactive, or being a better person. The point is that it isn’t just influencing someone and then continuing in the same course. There needs to be a point of action. Inspiration is not telling someone to do something or using any other means for someone to change. True inspiration comes from the leader changing, the employee seeing the change, and then being influenced to do the same.
Okay, so how do we become inspirational leaders? We want to lead our teams effectively and inspire everyone to use their gifts and skills to the fullest, but there is a gap between wanting and doing. And it starts with being inspired yourself. How can you inspire others if you’re not inspired yourself? Creating an inspirational atmosphere can be achieved through three steps.
Inspiration is closely tied with passion. The things we are passionate about tend to inspire others. More than likely, there is at least one thing you’re passionate about that can translate into different aspects of your workday. Sure, you may not be passionate about creating spread sheets of clients’ orders, but you may be passionate about making a difference in others’ lives. View your spread sheet task as an opportunity to make others’ lives easier and less stressful. Focus on becoming more inspired yourself before even thinking about how to inspire others.
Once you have changed your mentality about your workload and implementing inspirational elements in your life, it’s now time to engage others with your new-found passion. People are more inspired by a leader who sells a vision. Great leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. mobilized an entire generation to act through inspiration set in a simple vision – a dream. Your team members are looking for you to lead the organization to new heights of innovation and relevance. Engage with your workers by explaining what you’re learning and passionate about. Let them buy into what you believe and move forward without looking back.
By focusing on constant inspiration and engaging others in your vision, you can create an inspiring atmosphere in your office. The most productive employees are those who are constantly growing and wanting to be better themselves. And as a leader, it is your responsibility to make sure you are encouraging this. Sit down with your team and find out what their specific goals are. Knowing where everyone wants to be is a great step in being able to help them get there. Even if their goals don’t necessarily relate to their job responsibilities, achieving the objectives will overflow in their work life. You want them to be inspired and creative at work, and sometimes that starts after 5 p.m.
Being an inspiring leader doesn’t have to be a daunting goal. It can start with three simple steps. Are you an inspirational leader? How have your created an inspiring atmosphere at your office? Let us know in the comments section below.