Are You a Leader? Three Steps to Inspiring Others


Have you noticed that at work, some people inspire you more than others? And it is not necessarily those in senior positions? I worked for a company once where important decisions were discussed with a team leader, three levels down in the business, before approval. He was a strong leader. Employees listened to what he had to say and were inspired by him.

A business needs good managers. Our personal performance is often measured and rewarded based on how good we are as a manager. It is easy to see whether we have met deadlines or stayed within budget. Leadership is harder to measure, so it tends not to get the attention it deserves.

Yet the business also needs us to be leaders to survive and grow. Developing an awareness of the difference between leadership versus management is a good start. Here are three steps to help you see the difference and become a better leader.

Step 1: So what are you saying?

Good leaders have a clear vision for the future. So where are you going? what do you want to achieve? Our brain is stimulated by emotional thoughts 3000 times faster than rational ones, so speak from the heart. Tell the truth as you know it, without fear of being judged. You will find that people are more likely to listen to you and be inspired.

Step 2: Get into the lift

Too often, as we rise through an organisation, or achieve success in business, our ego gets inflated. We feel invincible. It is good to be confident, but what if we start to feel that we are always right? That means everyone else must be wrong. You are not going to inspire others if you are telling them what to do, when they already know the answers. Good leaders show humility. So get into the lift in that ivory tower and push the button for the ground floor. Respect the views of others and they will listen to yours.

Step 3: Are you worth following?

Good leaders lead by example. They keep going even when it is tough. They look for the third alternative when there seems to be no solution. They don’t take their frustration and bad temper out on others.

Think about the people who inspire you, even outside of work. What are their values? How do they behave? What you can see in others you have yourself. Find a leadership role model to inspire you. There is no right or wrong way to lead; you have to develop your own leadership style so that others will be inspired.

See my website for more ideas on motivating others.