12 September 2019
The single greatest challenge as a leader is to inspire your team. Gone are the days where leadership was synonymous with ‘command and control’. Workplaces are now innovative, creative, friendly places, where people come to be inspired and productive. Quite simply, employees want to be fulfilled in their roles.
And it makes perfect business sense too: inspired colleagues are happier, more productive and help to inspire the rest of the team around them.
So how do you overcome that challenge to become an inspirational leader, rather than a demonstrative character?
Practice what you preach. It is that simple. When you don’t live and breathe the values that you expect of others, I guarantee that you lose their respect in an instant. Instead be a human, be you and be true to that.
‘Authentic leadership’ goes as far back as the Ancient Greeks. Being ‘true to yourself’ as a leader means being transparent, genuine and self-aware. When you continually share who you are as a person, and what you think of your team’s performance and such, you inspire others simply by being yourself.
Inspire without ego
If you are brilliant at something, you don’t need to tell people that you are brilliant at it. Let your actions speak louder than your words. Equally, when you remove your ego from a situation, you remove the need to be right, the need to be in control and the risk of embarrassment. You’re open to an honest conversation and to recognising strengths in others. When you see the overbearing leaders whose teams are unhappy, it is often because the leader is enjoying the power and the superiority, and no one dare tell them if they are wrong. This is no way to lead a team, never mind to inspire them. Great, inspirational leaders are often the ones who are the most humble, who pass praise to their teams rather than hoarding it for themselves.
Empower and trust
Process gets in the way of progress. If someone is passionate about a project and it makes business sense, let them go for it. There is no room in modern business for micromanagement, it inspires no one and ultimately leads to both the manager and employee feeling burnt out.
Set the example
Be a person that others aspire to emulate. Be so good at your job, that it is awe inspiring. Set the example for what you expect of your team – be on time, look the part, be fair and work hard. If you have expectations of the team around you, you should meet those expectations in your own behaviour and output.
All of our leaders at UKFast do the same job as their teams. These leaders are consistent top performers and inspire their teams to beat them.
Share your thoughts on being an inspirational leader in the comments below on social media, so that we can all learn from each other how to become better leaders.