Top Traits of Inspiring Leaders

Behind every successful organization, there is a team of top performers working toward a common goal and inspired by common values and principles. A strong culture can take a middle-of-the-road company and transform it into a paradigm-shifting behemoth of a business. And while a company’s culture is defined by shared values, its foundation is laid by leaders who believe in the organization’s purpose and inspire workers to adopt the mission as their own.

Inspiration, defined as the process of being mentally stimulated to do something creative, is a priceless ability successful leaders should have. Yet so many people in leadership struggle to inspire their teams. The reason might be they are focusing too much on attempted inspiration as opposed to the characteristics and traits that create an inspiring leader.

The Ability to Communicate the What and Why

The most inspiring leaders have communication skills that not only give clear direction but also dictate the importance and purpose of the tasks at hand. And while communication has been known to be one of the most important skills leaders can have; it’s also a skill many lack. According to a Harris Poll survey, 91% of employees say “communicating well” is the one critical skill their leaders lack. Moreover, 57% of employees say their leaders do not give clear directions. Employees not only need to know what they should to do to be successful in their role, but also why their job matters to the overall purpose and mission of the organization. Knowing the why behind the what can inspire employees to take ownership for their part in organizational goals. A recent study also found that clearly communicating overall strategy, purpose, and shared values is critical to an organization’s success, with 64% of respondents saying it was a key priority.

The Ability to Empathize with Employees

Empathy and emotional intelligence have historically been somewhat undervalued skills for leaders. However, modern leaders know that to inspire a team to be the best they can be, you must fully understand your employees and meet them where they are. According to a study by Businessolver, 93% of employees reported they would stay with an empathetic employer; moreover, 82% of employees would leave their position to work for a more empathetic organization. When leaders can empathize with employees, they are more likely to build trust, loyalty, and engagement in the workplace, which are all needed to cultivate a creative, inspired workforce. Regardless of how successful a leader is, it’s nearly impossible to maintain continued success without becoming an empathetic leader.

The Ability to Delegate and Build New Leaders

Sometimes, to build inspiration and involvement, leaders push their team to new heights by getting their employees out of their comfort zone and championing them to do things they never thought possible. By delegating tasks and allowing employees to take on new responsibilities and commitments, a leader can hep build the next generation of leaders. And more often than not, employees are seeking to work for leaders who give them more opportunities. According to a Bloom Leadership study, 79% of employees quit due to lack of opportunities to grow professionally, voice their opinions, and receive delegated tasks. However, 94% say they would stay longer with a company if learning opportunities were offered.

The Ability to Develop and Train Employees

Whether by creating training programs or delegating development to HR professionals, an inspiring leader knows the importance of developing employees. A Lorman study found that 56% of human resources managers said training and development is essential to business, yet 59% of employees said they didn’t receive workplace training and most of their skills were self-taught. It’s imperative to bridge that gap and either cross-train employees or offer third-party development programs to create an inspired team. And while many companies focus on several different employee initiatives, development should be a top priority. One study from ClearCompany found that 68% of employees surveyed cited training and development opportunities as a company’s most important policy, so focusing on development is a key skill leaders must have during this tight labor market.

What are other traits of inspiring leaders? How do great leaders inspire teams? Let us know in the comments section below!


3 Responses to Top Traits of Inspiring Leaders

  1. Garth Riley May 3, 2022 at 9:57 am #

    You have made valid points. This article is so important as we see sales shifting. There is a tendancy to slash and cut due to fear and worry.
    Fear and Faith can not live in the same thought.
    This article inspires FAITH.
    Thank you!

  2. Leslie Evans May 3, 2022 at 11:03 am #

    Having a level temperament is invaluable. As a senior administrator, in my experience, leaders who are quick to lose their temper are also quick to lose their staff.

  3. Gary Watson May 3, 2022 at 4:28 pm #

    Somebody needs to tell new managers not to come in and “change” everything right away. I left a job because our new manager changed everything–even things that worked well and she never asked our opinion. She didn’t value our input. She treated us as “things” not people.

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