12 ways to Inspire…
One of the greatest feelings in leadership has to be being told that you have inspired others. It’s a magical feeling that brings an incredible sense of achievement and pride and shines a light on the impact you have on others.
Long after the bricks and mortar you helped to build have been bulldozed, the policies and processes you oversaw been replaced and the shareholders you appeased found a new focus for their investments, your ability to inspire will enable you to leave your greatest leadership legacy.
Being inspired makes people reach for the unattainable, try harder than ever before, and stand up for what your organisation stands for in the face of adversity. It means that your people talk about the lessons they learned from you, the responsibility you empowered in them and that your values and approach live on. Think about your best boss…
That’s great, but how do you do ‘it’
That’s great, but how do you do ‘it’; inspire others? Here’s 12 ways that I’ve seen work wonders on the inspiration front. Let me know if you can think of more.
1) Do what you say you will do
Too often we promise things in the heat of the moment to appease and maintain credibility. When we fail to fulfil our promises we begin to erode the belief your people have in everything you say.
2) Treat people equally but differently
Your people have an internal sense of what is right and fair. The treatment of others in a way that creates the impression of favourites within your people, for example, will create a divide. When your people feel that they will be treated equally but that they will be considered as individuals with individual needs, they will come together.
3) Provide quality time
Nothing says more to your people about how much you value them than the amount of time (no matter how busy you are) that you are willing to spend with them; especially when it adds value.
4) Discuss your own weaknesses and your journey to overcome adversity
We tend to share less about ourselves, when we feel that we have done all of the opening up. As a leader the ability to share your journey and the challenges you have faced means that your people will believe that they can fulfil their potential and that you won’t judge them on the road to success.
5) Listen to your people
When you take the time to listen to your people they feel valued, you learn, they learn and you connect to a much greater level. Think about how you feel when someone listens to you and how different it feels when you’re talked at.
6) Help people overcome the barriers they face
People feel great when they are doing something they feel good at and it feels like nothing can get in their way. When you help your people to unlock the door to their success they and you feel great and you will have empowered the individual or team to deliver the value they seek. In turn, you will have created a connection with those you’ve helped that will last a lifetime.
7) Ask other people for their suggestions
None of us have all of the answers and to pretend otherwise is fool hardy. When you seek the suggestions of those around you, you say I value you and believe in your capability.
8) Demonstrate belief in others by giving them responsibility for important stuff
Remember how it felt the first time your parents let you go into town on your own? Your people feel this way every time you empower them to make decisions and take action – no matter how senior.
9) Thank others for making mistakes
This recognises that your people are human, that they had the bravery to try and that you value initiative. What’s more it means they’ll try again and no doubt succeed beyond even their wildest dreams.
10) Invite feedback from your people
This demonstrates openness, respect and a lack of ego and you’ll get some valuable insights into how you can be an even better leader too.
11) Be your values
It’s easy say what you stand for and far less to act congruently at all times, but you have to or at least acknowledge when you haven’t. To act in a way that flies in the face of what you say undermines everything you say. For o leader there is no such thing as “do as I say, not as I do”.
12) Hold people to account
It is a human trait to choose the path of least resistance and it’s far too easy to say “if you want it bad enough you’ll make it happen”. We all fall off the horse sometimes and (maybe not in the moment) in the long term we’re usually grateful that someone challenged us to get back on it.
13) Let people be they best that THEY can be
I thought I’d throw in an extra one for free – you’re unlucky to be in the end of this one.
Its one thing to develop and empower your people; quite another to seek to create mini me’s. The very thing that stands out about you inspires others is your individual character. So bring out the best in them and let their light shine.
If you’d like to talk through…