Do we truly grasp the true essence of leadership, business leadership that is relevant in our modern age of business today? Do we inspire enthusiasm, empower people to instil confidence so they can be inspiring to the people around them? Leadership is the most observed and least understood phenomenon in life and business today.
There are really some great companies that have flipped most business models on their heads with their “tomorrow thinking”. You do not need to be a big corporation in order to practise Inspirational Leadership. In fact, over 60% of the companies in the Best Places to Work list are companies with 5,000 employees or less. Not all of us are the Google’s, P&G’s, GM’s or IBM’s, but we can still work towards making a change by being Inspirational Leaders.
This concept is something I started implementing in my company to allow my employees to be creative and innovative thinkers. This is also a topic I as an Inspirational business Speaker present and talk about. Today I’d like to give you a few ideas on how and why I started implementing this form of leadership in my company.
Understand what Inspiration is
The word Inspirational is the divine quality of the writings or words of a person so influenced, I prefer “putting life into something that had been lifeless or without direction.” It is not just a word but rather an action to be used for the greater good of mankind or leading your company and employees into the 21st century of modern business practice. Leadership is a relationship you form with an organisation or people and the catalyst is Inspiration – you are not a real leader if you don’t inspire.
Inspire a shared vision
Very few employees know what the mission or vision of their company is, and if there is no vision there is no goal or purpose. Here is my company’s vision: Our vision is “Engineering Mobility for Accessibility” to provide our customers with expert personal service. They need to be assured that a new phase of life has now just begun and that independence is the first step. We make this transition easier for them.
To my employees the words above might not mean much, but to me who wrote those words ten years ago when I started my company, it is everything we stand for. How to get your employees to live and breathe your vision is a very important step in leadership. Paint your vision with words. Examples let them see and feel the vision as much as you do. Without everybody there is no end goal. We need to inspire people to believe in our dreams. Vision is all about long-term goals. Envision what the end result might look like and communicate that vision to empower and inspire others.
Win trust by being authentic
Do not try and pretend to be something you are not. Employees might be employees but they are not stupid. Employees will be more loyal and enthusiastic when they work in an environment run by people they trust and are who they say they are. Use those strengths and personality traits to enhance your authentic and personal leadership style. I work with my guys at the factory level, I’m not the suit type. Trust is a two-way highway: My employees trust me to ensure growth and a future for the company and in their hands I place my life, future and millions of Rands of investments and growth.
Being in a wheelchair and paralysed from the neck down – trust – is very important to me.
Extrinsic / Intrinsic Factors of leadership
In this modern business environment we cannot afford to use the age old extrinsic factors to inspire our employees. It is no longer about external “carrots and sticks” but internal purpose and drive. Coercion does not work for the free-agent nation of thinking: “do it or else” is so “yesterday” way of forceful leadership. After coercion came motivation: “if you to that you will get this”, this form of manipulative leadership does not get things done in this modern age. Motivation is short-term, expensive, and often inhibits creativity, high performance, and good behaviour.
Inspirational Business Leadership is the multiplier of employees, and the best way to marshal the abilities of the organisation more effectively and to greater ends. When the connection to meaning is made, it creates inspiration throughout the enterprise, inspiring organisations to move from “providing a job” to creating careers for their employees.
Lead by example and Inspire with passion!