Not just anyone can be an inspiring leader; one needs a set of honed characteristics to influence those they lead.
Coupled with a strong vision, a commitment to integrity, and a robust set of morals, inspiring leaders have the power to change the world. International leaders like Prince William and Princess Kate, innovators like Elon Musk, and world championship athletes like Simone Biles all have one thing in common: they are all considered completely inspiring leaders.
Harvard Business School discovered that the ability to inspire is the factor that creates the highest levels of employee commitment and engagement. Additional research found that inspired employees are twice as productive as their satisfied counterparts, driving 59% less turnover, 21% better productivity, and a 41% drop in absenteeism.
So, what makes a leader inspiring?
1. Commitment to Values
A true leader not only knows and communicates their values, but they stick to their principles, no matter what. Even if it causes rifts with those around you, leaders can’t cave into peer pressure.
Being focused and ethical isn’t always easy, but inspirational leaders will always stand up for what they believe is right and fight against injustice. Leaders must act with integrity if they’re going to inspire anyone.
After all, people will always be watching the world leaders for evidence that they embody the principles they stand for.
2. A Passion for Growth
Leaders always know they can improve. That’s why many of the best leaders have a passion for constant learning and development. Leaders are self-aware of some of their weaknesses, while some are brought to light by listening to others.
What’s more, a great leader also can encourage growth in others. Inspirational leaders give the people around them opportunities to learn and grow too. This could mean giving employees access to classes and educational tools.
3. Absolute Authenticity
Great leaders connect with others because they’re open about their strengths and struggles. Leaders can genuinely gain influence by showing their vulnerability to those they lead. They can relate to the journeys that others go through, and they initiate conversations about how they achieved success.
4. Incredible Communication
Communication is crucial for any leader to be inspirational. How can you motivate someone to accomplish great things if you can’t understand each other?
Notably, not all communication is verbal. Leaders need to connect with others in different ways, from interactions over video conferencing to written messages to body language.
Genuinely exceptional leaders understand how their stance and facial expression can bring context into a conversation. Inspirational leaders use body language to put others at ease.
5. Focus on Inclusivity
Great leaders aren’t the bosses who use fear to drive results, and you can’t lead or influence anyone who feels excluded. Instead, effective leaders focus on cultivating an environment where people can explore their ideas and let their creativity shine through.
Good leaders also know how to value diversity and support various working styles. True inspiration in any environment thrives when people feel part of a supported community. A leader knows how to take a team of people who have never met and turn them into a tight-knit circle.
A leader who cultivates a warm and encouraging environment opens the door to innovation. You have what it takes to be a leader who gives true inspiration. We offer coaching that will take your leadership skills to the next level–connect with us today!