Leadership is all about people, and I am 100 percent sure, your life was impacted by someone you admired dearly, during your personal or professional life. God knows I have. Inspirational leaders, for example, are a rare breed, and they often distinguish themselves from other leaders by their unique characteristics. In the book The Leadership Challenge, the authors suggested that when inspirational leadership exists, people “raise each other to higher levels of motivation and morality.” These leaders instill “a sense of adventure in others, look for ways to alter the status quo radically, and ... scan the environment for new and fresh ideas.”
These leaders always search for opportunities to do what has never been done; as a result, their leadership is exemplified in these 7 characteristics.
1. Inspire a shared vision
An inspirational leader must not only create a new vision for their company, but they must also adequately communicate this vision to others. In The Leadership Challenge, the authors emphasize that “by using persuasive language, positive communication style, and nonverbal expressiveness, leaders breathe life into a vision that is shared by everyone in the organization.”
2. Challenge the status quo
The Harvard Business Review asked more than 1,000 employees; How often have you seen senior leaders challenge the status quo. The result? 42% said never or almost never, 32% said sometimes, and 26% said fairly often or very often. Only 3% said always. Inspirational leaders, by their nature, challenge the status quo and are not afraid of change.
3. Enable others to act
Inspirational leaders are comfortable involving others in the decision-making process. If the leader empowers others and delegates responsibilities, followers can share in the decision-making process. They are more likely to use the participatory process to arrive at a consensus. According to Pielstick, when leaders foster participation with others in the decision-making process, there is less likelihood of escalating the conflict to emerge. The leader has a mentality that is inclusive to all followers, including diverse and multicultural groups. They listen to everyone and seek to create an atmosphere of empowerment in their organization.
4. Model the way
Inspirational leaders serve as role models for their employees. Because they trust and respect the leader, they emulate this individual and internalize his or her ideals. If the leader does not demonstrate a commitment through their actions, that organization will be full of conflict and quickly become a very toxic place to work. Leaders should always walk the talk, but it becomes even more critical to do so when their organization is going through a change.
5. Encourage the heart
Another critical aspect of inspirational leaders is that the leader must intellectually and emotionally stimulate people. When leaders inspire and empower others, the work becomes stimulating, motivating, challenging, and fascinating. Building on their strengths and enhancing their knowledge and skills, leaders can have a transforming effect on the lives of their employees by helping them stay engaged and competent in their chosen careers.
6. Persistence and Faith
Inspirational leaders are very persistent in the face of immense challenges. They have a real relationship, not a one night stand, but a deep commitment to faith. They never allow fear to rule their life; when they feel stuck and everything they tried is not bearing any fruit, they dig deep and bring forth their faith and never give up.
Holding any position of power can be good for your ego, but don’t let that position of power create a false sense of security. Your employees must know you’re not above your shortcomings. “Leaders must not be afraid to recognize their own failures,” said Joe Chiarello, owner of two Murphy Business & Financial Corporation franchises.
“We all fall down at some point, but what really matters is the way we pick ourselves up and learn from our mistakes. This is what helps us grow and makes us stronger.” Leading by example and having transparency with your team if you do something wrong or make a bad decision can go a long way.
Inspirational leaders are change agents. They exhibit characteristics that reflect a vision for the future, demonstrate an ability to influence others, provide inspiration and encouragement to others, and express high-performance expectations. The end -result of inspirational leaders is that people are motivated to succeed, and the institution is strengthened and transformed. Inspirational leaders inspire people to believe that the impossible is possible, and in the process, bring forth the best in themselves and others.
About Gifford Thomas
I am the founder of Leadership First and the author of The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible. At Leadership First, we are committed to publishing the very best inspirational leadership quotes and articles to inspire our 500,000+ community of leaders to believe in the impossible, while creating an environment free from toxic, fearful and intimidating leadership. We believe everyone can and should enjoy their work, but it must start with the leadership leading by example. Follow our community of leaders HERE, and let's change the leadership status quo to help inspire and motivate our leaders to make a difference and create an organization their people will love.
You can download a copy of my book The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible by clicking the link below