Inspiration: The Indispensable Quality of a Leader

published on 02 May 2017
Without doubt, inspiration is one of the four main components of effective leadership, along with influence, integrity and transformation. A great source of inspiration will have the power to motivate you as a leader towards your goals and to have a clear vision of them. Conversely, when you have no inspiration, achieving something may seem difficult, boring and monotonous without finding joy and passion in what you do.

But there's a catch. Being inspired is not enough to be a good leader. As a leader you have to inspire others too, creating that feeling of 'Let's reach the top together' with a shared goal. Inspiration is that intuitive force that you express and that drags others to share your choices, to make them feel good about those choices and to carry them out even without your push. Easier said than done, because gathering inspiration for yourself and being a source of inspiration for others can drain your energy. Here are four keys on how to make it: 

1. Don't hesitate
If you want to be a leader, you must not live in non-decision. Good leaders are men of action who take decisions even though they realize there are risks because otherwise their business would languish and stop growing. Not tomorrow, not in a weeks, not soon -- now is the time to take decisions. This demonstrates confidence, and confidence inspires people. Getting out of your comfort zone is the secret to success and growth. 

2. Nurture team spirit
Good leaders know that without their team they are nothing and that they should pay the most attention to their employees' needs. "Your leadership is not about your position or title. It's about who you are, how you live and your ability to influence others to change things for the better -- at work and beyond [...] Expand yourself, give yourself and, finally, replicate yourself by teaching others to do exactly what you've done for them," Extreme Leadership Institute founder Steve Farber writes in his book Greater Than Yourself. Learn to succeed through others.

3. Be a honest leader
We can't know it all, even though some leaders and executives give the impression that they do. Accept that you are a human being prone to mistakes, be honest with yourself and with those around you and lead with authenticity instead of trying to replicate someone else's leadership style because this way you'll be more effective. There's no such thing as perfection because we are imperfect through our human nature. Play by your values and principles and listen to your intuition. 

4. Show clients that you care
If you are looking to grow your client base, show those you already have that you care about them, their passions, interests and businesses. Demonstrate that you truly want them to be successful, especially when your clients are other businesses and companies. This way you'll build a clean track record and a strong reputation and you'll boost your chances of being recommended to others.