Inspirational leadership for the everyday

So many of us equate inspiration with:

  • Passion
  • Enthusiasm
  • Amazing feats of endeavour
  • Survival

Whilst often savoured with awe, the Herculean achievements of others aren’t always useful to use as the role model for our quest to inspire our teams at work.

So how do we muster up inspirational leadership for the everyday?

Here a few tips…

Clarity of Purpose and Priorities:

  • Blind followership is unsustainable or just weird. Your team want you to lead the focus and future strategy, connect goals and roles. By all means collaborate but always remember inspirational leaders provide clarity to their teams.
  • Inspirational leaders revel in ambiguity and encourage teams to focus on what they can control and embrace the challenge of the unknown

Consistent Clear Repeated Messages:

  • We have all heard the rules that you have to repeat a message seven times for people to remember it… and the acronym KISS for keep it simple stupid? Well it turns out these might be more applicable today than ever before. New studies allege the attention span of a 21 year old is 7 seconds down from 20 seconds five years ago. Jokingly dubbed as the ‘goldfish generation’ however getting a clear message across to them requires you to be clear and consistent and to repeat that message.
  • Consistent, clear and repeated messages also help people to focus on the work that is important and not to go down rabbitholes.

Constant Performance Progress:

  • Research from the UK several years ago proved that focus on excessive stretch goals actually lowered the performance of workers. It is better to look at the big goals through the lens of paying attention to the process. Embracing achievements with a small steps forward approach is proven to inspire teams to high performance and to stay engaged throughout the process.
  • Focus on the process not the outcome.

Connect with Inclusion and Care:

  • Listening is rated as the number one inspirational behavior in a poll in the USA. Not standing on stage and lecturing the troops… listening!
  • Try to be present
  • Focus on the quality of your development conversations
  • Use positive active language and rid yourself of the negative problem focus language that isn’t inspiring
  • Remember what we focus on grows

When I talk to teams and at conferences about inspirational leadership that happens every day I compare it to the way we view success. Several years ago the idea that “success happens daily” rather than “once a decade” really took off… the same idea applies to inspiring your team.

Inspiring your team to high performance and high engagement is an every day activity not something that happens at the conference or offsite twice a year.

How do you inspire your team every day? We’d love you to share some ideas.