When it comes to being a leader, there are many different tactics and techniques that can be used in order to inspire people. Some leaders are more Boiler Room than Coach Carter, while others rely on positivity and encouragement. No matter what your style is, however, the most important thing is that you remain authentic to yourself. Trying to be someone you’re not will just make things worse in the long run. So, if you’re looking for some tips on how to become a more inspiring leader, read on! We’ve got all sorts of suggestions for you.
Authenticity. It’s been a buzzword and we hear it often, but what does this really mean? We often say here that “we don’t realize how inauthentic we are about our own inauthenticity,” meaning there are parts of ourselves which stay hidden away because they’re too scary or painful for us to explore without protection or a safe space to process it. Let me give you an example of what I mean here…
I was doing a speaking engagement recently and had asked one of our questions we often ask, “If I weren’t afraid of X, I’d do X.” A guy came up to me afterward and told me he really appreciated the question as it made him realize he doesn’t even tap into himself enough to understand what he’s even afraid of. It was the first step for him to get to the core of who he is and get real with himself. Because as a leader, if you aren’t authentic with yourself first, you can’t truly get authentic with your team let alone cultivate a culture of authenticity.
Leaders have to lead by example, so the authenticity starts with you! Stop doing things you don’t want to do, stop placating people and being the yes person, stop making excuses for why you do what you do. Own yourself, own your space, and get real and authentic with yourself first. Ask yourself, “Is this what I really want?” Or “Is this really what’s best for me/organization?” When you ask yourself the tough questions and really take the time to listen to yourself, you’ll be surprised at how many things you do by simply going through the motions that you really don’t love to do.
But what makes a leader truly inspiring is the ability to take others along on that journey. Inspirational leaders are not afraid to share their own flaws and weaknesses, which allows others to feel more comfortable taking risks and stepping outside their comfort zones.
This brings us to the next point that is so often overlooked in organizations and quite frankly, why people are even working for you; your purpose. Essentially, it’s your why. But so often people stop short when evaluating this question within themselves. And even worse, we let our teammates off the hook when we ask a simple why and get a one liner answer. And it’s something that can only properly be done only after we’ve come to full authenticity within ourselves.
I was recently sitting in on a meeting with a client’s sales team who had brought on two new team leads. Their VP of Sales went around and asked each person why they were there, and each provided a simple answer that was usually tied around finances. “Get out of our condo,” “get that car,” and “take the family on that vacation…” were some of their responses.
It was all I could do to sit there and let this exercise continue because the VP was thinking they were making good progress, and generally speaking they were compared to most organizations that don’t even ask this question. But it can be taken to a whole new level and I was chomping at the bit to take them so much farther as a team!
All their answers were superficial and not really getting to the core emotional driver of what each person’s purpose was at work. No one is there just for paychecks, but they’re mostly in it because that thing opens up opportunities – material or otherwise! When you ask them enough times about why they want that thing, people usually start talking with an edge towards emotion instead of logic alone.
When I dove in, I honed in on one person in particular for the sake of time and drilled down on why he wanted to get out of the condo. After several lines of questioning, most of them asking him “But why…” and giving him space to really think through why he wanted out of the condo, this guy wanted the “slice of heaven,” for his family which gave him peace and security. It was the peace and security he was after, it wasn’t as simple as “being out of the condo.” This is his purpose. This is why that guy gets up every morning and is one of the first people at the office and has since built an amazing sales team and is one of the most beloved employees at the company.
When inspiring leaders know and understand an employee’s purpose, their authentic purpose, they are able to tap into their employee’s potential on a whole different level. This cultivates loyalty and gives the leader ways to inspire that actually matter to the employee, thus extracting the best performance possible from them.
Leadership is not about having all the answers, but inspiring others to find the right answers. The real challenge of leadership isn’t figuring out what to do next, but rather getting others invested in the process and excited about their own voice. When you empower employees with critical thinking skills as well as give them a seat at your table where they can be learning from all angles–you tap into that human potential for creativity which will help drive success within any organization!
A positive work environment is one that is conducive to productivity and motivation. Employees who feel valued and supported are more likely to be engaged with their work and be more enthusiastic about their jobs. Establishing a culture of celebration is a key motivating factor here. Whenever we work with teams, we always integrate celebrations into their meetings and engagements with each other. The more you get celebrated, the more you want to do!
There are many factors that contribute to a positive work environment, but one of the most important is leadership. Leaders play a vital role in setting the tone for an organization and creating a culture of respect and collaboration. By modeling positive behaviors and treating employees fairly, leaders can foster a work environment that motivates employees to do their best.
So, what makes a great leader? The answer is simple – it’s someone who inspires others to be their best selves. Leaders can inspire through their words and actions, living on purpose, and by creating a positive work environment that motivates and encourages employees.
If you want to learn how to be an inspiring leader, reach out to Modig Leadership today at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer leadership training for businesses and individuals who want to learn how to motivate and encourage those around them!
Brenda Lee is a Leadership Development and Team Building expert to some of the world’s most exciting entrepreneurs and professionals who have all the trappings of success but have hit a barrier they are ready to breakthrough.