When you get the opportunity to lead, “working hard” becomes a sideline to the remainder of your story.
Don’t get us wrong – your performance still matters, but your ability to inspire a team of people becomes more important.
Success no longer means spending late hours at work –now it’s more about inspiring others to perform and bring their best to the team.
When you can achieve these goals, only then will you be able to summit success in your role as a leader.
However, before you face the “leaders are born, not made” argument, let us tell you with absolute certainty that it is the other way around.
This research by Bain & Company – a multi-billion-dollar management consulting firm – found that the two main traits of an accomplished leader are the ability to inspire team members, and to encourage them “to take on bold missions”.
Both are entirely within the grasp of every individual, and we can all learn to develop and implement these qualities to become better leaders.
The point is, leaders are made, not born.
We’ve established that anyone with the right guidance can become an inspirational leader.
But here’s the perplexing question for many: where do you seek this guidance? (This article maybe?)
We’ve listed down six ingenious ways that will help you become a truly inspirational leader.
Let us explore them one by one.
Some of the best examples of leadership have been demonstrated by people who decided to break the everyday routines and do something that showcases what they ought to achieve.
One example here is that of the world’s favourite coffee chain, Starbucks.
When Howard Schultz was appointed as the CEO of Starbucks, the brand had already lost its exclusivity – it was no longer the go-to coffee shop for most people.
Schultz made a drastic move to shut down over seven thousand outlets in the US for 3 hours. He re-trained the employees on how to make that signature Starbucks coffee during those hours and educated them about customer service best practices.
This move reinvigorated the workplace dynamics and inspired the staff to deliver their absolute best while on the job, bringing Starbucks back into the leading market position it had enjoyed for so long.
It is a widely accepted fact that inspirational leaders are quite charismatic. It is this characteristic (charisma) that attracts the people around, encouraging them to follow in your footsteps.
There are several other key attributes that you can borrow from your favourite leaders (all inspirational leaders have these in common), such as expressiveness.
Whenever you convey ideas, be clear, concise, clear, and compelling. It adds authority to your speech, which is likely to inspire those around you. In fact, Bain & Company has even placed this trait in its Inspirational Leadership Model.
One of the core attributes highlighted in this model is centeredness – becoming mentally present to ensure satisfaction at the workplace, manage potentially increasing stress levels, and to empathise with team members.
Centeredness is also about the leaders being a core of inspiration.
You need to make sure that you are taking adequate measures to inspire and lead your team in a way that unlocks their potential. It will provide them with a sense of accomplishment while working under your wing, which can be a driving factor of their improved efficiency and productivity.
This may sound like a cliché, but stressful and toxic work environments deteriorate the overall efficiency of a team and result in the loss of team members’ trust.
It is a clear sign of poor leadership, which will only demotivate your employees, rather than inspiring them.
It all boils down to the fact that creating a positive work environment can help you become an inspirational leader. This, in turn, means better creativity and enhanced output for your team as well.
You don’t need to be a global brand or take million-dollar-measures to do that – just listen to your employees and address their needs quickly and sufficiently.
Research by CareerBliss proved this point by ranking the lesser-known Keller Williams Realty over giants like Google and Facebook, as the happiest company in the US.
Although practical learning is key to becoming an inspirational leader, you can also take help from theory when other global leaders teach it.
It allows you to polish your leadership skills and abilities through the experience of others.
MCI Institute provides the best and most affordable diploma programs in leadership and management in Australia. The course is specially designed for experienced professionals who want to hone their abilities as forerunners in their niche.
The best part of enrolling in a course like this is that not only do you get to learn from history, but also through practical techniques in areas like customer service, communication, professional development, and a lot more.
MCI’s diploma in leadership and management is a 12-month course designed to prepare you for an array of leading managerial positions ranging from a team leader all the way up to your role as a business manager.
Generation Z and Millennials account for over 38% of the global workforce today, and this number is set to rise in the coming years. To be an inspirational leader, you need to understand the psyche of individuals from these age groups.
Both generations want to feel valued, but they don’t want to work just for the sake of it.
This means that the only way to motivate them is to reassure them that they are impactful in all that they do.
You can do this by creating an open-communication culture in your team.
A good example here is that of Facebook. This leading social media platform has set a globally recognised open-communication culture in place which provides complete freedom to its employees to raise problems, ask questions as well as to comment and critique workplace practices.
If there is an issue, they are encouraged to bring it up, create a task-force, and solve it.
The reason why open communication is key to being an inspirational leader is that it helps your team feel valued. They realise that their efforts are being appreciated and that you, as a leader, welcome their suggestions during a roadblock.
Here are a few steps you can take to encourage this culture within your team:
· Make use of an open-door policy (literally if possible)
· Encourage constructive criticism
· Remove hierarchical caps (lower management should be allowed to participate in critical decisions)
· Don’t dismiss unconventional ideas
People tend to choose the easier alternative when presented with a dilemma – that’s just human nature at work.
But when a leader does it, they risk setting a bad precedent in the workplace.
In fact, the chances are that doing this will demotivate employees who’d otherwise be willing to go out of their way to perform well.
That’s why it is essential to maintain your integrity from the very start. If you wish to inspire others, you need to build a character worthy of inspiration. Taking shortcuts is never the trick.
An inspirational leader will always find the best way to get the job done while leaving no team member behind. It will allow you to build long-term relationships with your team members and develop your image as a leader they can look up to.
Becoming a leader should never be your only goal.
If you genuinely want to make an impact and be successful, you must seek to be a leader who inspires others.
Want to become an inspirational leader? Find out how MCI Institute can help you out.