Despite all research about the nature of leaders, practitioners and scholars still acknowledge that many aspects of leadership remain a mystery. Today I would like to address one of the key mysteries that seems to consistently defy traditional analysis.
Often, leaders are identified as possessing a remarkable quality that sets them apart from others. It causes others to be attracted to them and enables them to achieve remarkable outcomes. That quality has most frequently been labeled “charisma,” a term that comes from the Greek word meaning “gift.” In ancient times people believed this quality was a divine gift bestowed upon some and not others. I, however, intend to prove the following:
- There are different approaches to inspiring leadership that go beyond having “charisma”
- The ability to Inspire and Motivate Others is a behavioral skill that anyone can develop.
1. If it’s not positive, don’t say it
It’s easy to criticize people, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Think about it: how do you react if someone insults your intelligence, makes fun of your outfit, or criticizes your performance? Whether the criticism is justified or not, I bet you get upset. No one likes to be criticized, so if you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say it at all.
2. Earn trust
If a person you know and love tells you a secret, it stays between you and them. Trust takes a long time to build, but it can be destroyed overnight, so don’t take part in workplace gossip or unnecessary drama in your social networks so you can be a positive influence that people are unafraid to talk to.
3. Be a good communicator
Increasing your ability to communicate effectively is a critical element for you to inspire others. Watch how you speak and what you say. Invest in your communication skills.
4. Leave ego behind
If you really want to influence people, let your actions speak for themselves. It’s a timeless adage that still holds true today, but if you are that awesome at something then you don’t need to tell anyone because they already know.
5. Set them free
Open the reigns and let the human need for autonomy and relevance flourish. People want to do well and succeed, but what often stifles opportunity is process. Daniel Pink, in his bestselling book Drive, calls this “the purpose motive.” Instead, give people a direction, a timeline and the authority to act.
How Do You Inspire People Around You?
Have you had the pleasure of inspiring a person to take a positive step forward to a better life? Or has someone helped inspire you to overcome a significant struggle? If so, we’d love to hear all about it in the comments!