This is how you should begin your inspirational leadership speech: Daring to inspire your employees is the most important task for any leader today!
For the vast majority of employees, inspirational leadership appears to be very important in creating motivation and commitment to the job. However, many bosses have not understood it. Not everyone sees the need or dare to inspire. They are often associated. There can be many reasons for that. The younger bosses may not have had any role models who have been good inspirers. The older and more experienced bosses may also not see the need to be inspirational in the past.
Without inspiration, you will struggle
Those who are unable to inspire their employees are likely to face major challenges in their leadership for the future. The young people who have come in after the turn of the millennium, and are entering the business sector in the future, have completely different expectations of their leaders than previously expected. The Internet and social media today set the premise for the expectations of the leaders. Young employees want to feel that their job is important. They want to see the big picture and their own role in it.
In the past, bosses could lead based on having more expertise and more information than employees. Today is no longer the case. With a few keystrokes, young new employees sit with the same information that the managers have access to. Not only that, young people know the tools so well that they provide more information in less time than any leader thought possible. Only with a few keystrokes.
The companies that manage to leverage the resource base this represents will win in the rapidly growing global competition for which the Internet is a catalyst.
This places great demands on the leaders for the future.
10 tips for becoming an inspirational leader
What do we mean by being an inspirational leader, and how can you become one? Through my own experience combined with extensive information gathering through meetings with other managers, management literature and research, I have come up with 10 tips that are crucial to being an inspirational leader. It is not necessary to satisfy everyone at the same time, but a combination of several of them reinforces the surrounding perception of you as an inspirational leader. Nevertheless, the first council is a prerequisite for all:
Tip # 1: Inspire yourself first
A prerequisite for inspiring others is that you are inspired by yourself.
The everyday life of a leader is about solving challenges and problems. Over time, it is difficult to motivate oneself if one is not inspired. As a leader, you have to ask yourself, “What am I passionate about in this job? What makes me tick? What gets me up in the morning?
When you figure it out, you, the leader, have to share it with your employees, EVERY DAY!
Employees need to see and hear that you as a manager have a passion for the job and are inspired. Your passion, your dedication, and inspiration will be contagious. If you are not inspired or fail to show that you are inspired, you will probably not be able to inspire your employees either.
If you can’t find inspiration yourself, you can hardly expect the staff to find it.
Advice # 2: Be Visible – A good leader doesn’t hide behind a desk
This is one of the mantras of Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Records and the airline Virgin. It is crucial for a manager, who wants to inspire his or her employees and the surroundings, to be constantly on the move to learn and get to know the organization, customers, employees and so on.
Richard Branson is widely known to be visible. Visibility builds pride and inflicts on employees. The great advantage of being visible is that you can learn from and understand the people in the organization. You get many free tips. It is an unmatched way to get input for improvement.
This paid off in the form of great commitment and, good results.
Richard Branson always has his notebook with him to write down everything he learns and all the thoughts that emerge in conjunction with employees, customers and the surrounding area in general.
Advice # 3: Create a Vision – A Future Picture that Leads the Way
One of the most important tools for becoming an inspiring leader is to create a vision for the future that all employees should contribute to achieving.
If you do not know where to go, it does not matter which way you choose. This was very well described in the movie scene where Alice in Wonderland wanders off into the woods seeking advice from a cat sitting in the tree. Without a clear vision, it becomes difficult to know if you are working on the right strategies and projects.
The late Steve Jobs was a master at inspiring by creating a vision that the employees, but also the outside world, we’re intrigued by.
“We believe that people with passion can change the world for the better,” said Steve Jobs.
It’s a fantastic vision and says something about what he and Apple had. What is perhaps most impressive is that they managed it. Not many companies in the world have affected the lives of so many people, such as when Apple launched the iPhone and Ipad. It has changed how the entire world community communicates with each other.
As a leader, having a vision is crucial. It must be vibrant, and the leader must talk about the vision at every opportunity.
Once you have created a vision, it is important that all employees in the organization associate their work tasks with the vision. If all employees know what their role is in realizing the vision, one will have a huge execution power.
A vision without implementation is a daydream
Implementation without a vision is a nightmare
– Japanese saying
Tip # 4: Tell Stories to Engage
Inspirational leaders tell emotional stories that engage and strike the hearts of employees and the environment. Managers who master storytelling get a much better impact. In the past, storytelling was the way knowledge was disseminated between generations. Ever since we are young, children love to hear adventures. The magician.
Most leaders have completely forgotten this important tool for engaging. It is often outside the comfort zone for many managers.
When giving lectures, tell stories to visualize and exemplify the point you want to tell. It is much easier for the audience to remember the story, and thus the point, rather than having to constantly deal with facts, numbers, and admonitions to do one or the other.
In all communication with employees, both in conversations, emails and presentations, a leader should see if he/she can tell stories that engage. The dramaturgy of stories creates an interesting meeting between the leader and the employees / the surroundings.
It is important that a leader not only has a relevant message, compelling facts and figures. Using personal stories, a presentation will come to life.
“Facts tell and stories sell,” is an American statement. Stories also inspire. Metaphors, parables and “images” are important to “enthrall” the audience. Stories hit the heart of the audience. It is vital that the leader speaks from heart to heart, and it can only happen if the leader is sincere.
Your ability to communicate effectively through storytelling is a critical element to inspire others.
Tip # 5: Build a culture and be a role model for the culture
The very best companies build a strong identity and a strong culture. Cultural building starts at the top and spreads throughout the organization.
An inspirational leader talks about the culture, values , and attitudes on every occasion. It is inspiring for employees to work in a clear culture. Talking about culture is inspiring. If a leader communicates the message of culture, values , and attitudes through storytelling, the impact will be very great. Then the leader creates inspiration and motivation.
In order to inspire and be a culture bearer, the leader must speak straight from the heart to heart. If the leader is to build a culture based on defined values and attitudes, it is necessary to be genuine.
Advice # 6: Care for employees – Establish good one-to-one relationships and team relationships
Mother Teresa once said, ” Do you know your co-workers? Do you care about them? ”
All people want to be significant. One of the most important needs we humans have is to be seen.
Caring about their employees is perhaps the most important thing a manager can do to be inspirational and bring their employees along.
Everyone wants to be significant. It’s not that much, but the effect is huge if you really care.
It is said that people are not so interested in how much you know until they know how much you care. Therefore, having a genuine interest in people is crucial.
It is only when you are interested in people when you care, that you as a leader can really inspire. When you really see other people, you find that most people at some point in their lives go through tough times. When you as leader support and encourage people through these times, you will inspire them to see the best in themselves and in the situation
Advice # 7: Challenge, facilitate, and give employees autonomy
If you, as a leader, think that it is sufficient to create an environment where everyone enjoys each other, cares for one another, is inspired and good at telling stories, then as a leader, you have only understood half the task.
A company or organization exists to create results.
An inspirational leader is evident. An inspirational leader challenges the organization. An inspiring leader sets high standards. An inspiring leader facilitates.
As long as employees feel seen and see their role in the big picture, most people are very open to working towards tough goals. A prerequisite for being an inspirational leader is that the manager provides the employees with tools and opportunities to succeed. It’s the employees that are the greatest value in a company! Therefore, it is important to give them the autonomy to solve things themselves. Freedom gives a great sense of responsibility and great commitment.
Tip # 8: Be honest and fallible
When I was working at DTL, trust was one of the most important topics we talked about. How to build trust quickly? In a customer relationship, it is crucial. The experience I did was that the customers gained confidence in me when I appeared to be honest and fallible.
As I gained experience as a manager, it turns out that this also applies to the relationship between the manager and the employee.
You are not trustworthy as a leader if you appear to be corporate, infallible or perfect. A leader who has the answer to everything will soon lose his credibility.
An inspirational leader is a leader who is willing to share his mistakes as well as his successes. As soon as you become vulnerable, talk about your mistakes, downsides and painful experiences, others will relate to you in a completely different way. They will understand that they are not the only ones with challenges and who have encountered problems in their careers. They will listen to you. You get past the “skeptical armour” that the employees have and they start listening genuinely.
One assumption is that once a leader is genuine and that one shares his weaknesses and mistakes in a sincere way.
By being brave and vulnerable, you quickly gain great confidence.
Advice No. 9. Recognition
Lots of people are very poor at praising and receiving praise.
Despite the fact that we do not like to receive praise publicly, we greatly appreciate being recognized. It is absolutely necessary for most of us.
Being seen is one of our most important needs, and recognition is one of the most important tools a manager has to make one see his or her employee.
In order to be an inspirational leader, you have to follow and see your employees. One must see each individual.
Taking the employees on the peach in doing something good is a mantra that is getting bigger and wider. There is no doubt that leaders who recognize, legitimately well and brand, good work, are considered inspiring to work for.
I heard a story about a CEO in a small business who had a stack of thank-you cards lying on his desk. In the final minutes of the workday, he wrote a thank-you note to some of his co-workers, who he delivered before leaving.