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How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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https://hbr.org/2017/04/how-to-be-an-inspiring-leader

hbr.org

How to Be an Inspiring Leader
Executive Summary Surveys show that less than half of respondents say they agree or strongly agree that their leaders are inspiring. Even fewer feel that their leaders foster engagement or commitment and model the culture and values of the corporation. But real breakthroughs in performance come from employees who feel inspired by their leaders and their organizations.

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Inspiration alone is not enough

Inspiration alone is not enough

Just as leaders who deliver only performance may do so at a cost that the organization is unwilling to bear, those who focus only on inspiration may find that they motivate the masses but a...

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Inspiring leaders

The leaders that inspire are those who use a personal combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions and to hold them accountable for results.

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Becoming an Inspiring Leader

  • You only need centeredness: a state of mindfulness that enables leaders to remain calm under stress, empathize, listen deeply, and remain present.
  • Your ke...

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Mindsets in leaders

Mindsets drive what leaders do and why they do it. 

Two different leaders might face the same situation but respond to it very differently. One leader might see the case as threatenin...

Growth and Fixed Mindsets

A growth mindset is a belief that anyone can change their talents, abilities, and intelligence. Those with a growth mindset:

  • take on challenges
  • take advantage of feedback
  • use the most effective problem-solving strategies
  • provide developmental feedback
  • is persistent in accomplishing goals

Conversely, those with a fixed mindset believe that talents, abilities and intelligence can't be improved.

Learning and Performance Mindsets

Leaders with a learning mindset are motivated to increase their competence and master something new.

A performance mindset desires to gain favorable judgments about competence and avoid negative judgements.

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The role of inspiration

It opens us to new possibilities by allowing us to go beyond our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility and transforms the way we perceiv...

Inspiration has 3 core aspects

  • Evocation: it is evoked spontaneously without intention.
  • Transcendence: it involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities.
  • Approach motivation: it pushes us to transmit, express, or actualize a new idea or vision.

Inspiration involves both being inspired by something and acting on that inspiration.

Inspired people

Inspired people report higher levels of important psychological resources, including belief in their own abilities, self-esteem, and optimism.

Mastery of work, absorption, creativity, perceived competence, self-esteem, and optimism are all consequences of inspiration.

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Inspirational does not mean charismatic

Inspirational does not mean charismatic

Being charismatic helps in a small way, for some people in some circumstances, to be perceived as inspiring and motivating.

But there are countless leaders who are...

Approaches to inspiring people

To motivate and inspire performance, a leader must be:

  • Visionary: providing a clear picture of the future and being able to communicate it to the team.
  • Enhancing: creating positive individual relationships along with team relationships.
  • Driver: completing things on time and being accountable for personal and group performance.
  • Principled: being a positive role model of doing the right things in the right way.
  • Enthusiast: being passionate about the organization, its goals and the work itself.
  • Expert: providing a strong technical direction that comes from deep expertise.