Mindstate Motivation Blog

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Confessions on What Inspirational Leadership Actually Is

“To be great is to be misunderstood.”  A thought reputed to be first expressed by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay, Self Reliance.  As I under it, Emerson’s main point was great thinkers are almost always misunderstood.

I must confess…

I think all inspirational leaders are great thinkers.  If they can’t think outside current limits than they have nothing to pull their people toward for the benefit of their organization and the people in it.

Therein lays a conflict for me in totally agreeing with Emerson’s point about leaders being misunderstood.

I confess…I don’t see how an inspirational leader can be misunderstood and be successful in leading people.  In thinking outside current limits, it’s the leader’s job to help his or her followers understand.

With understanding comes commitment.  Commitment drives purpose and purpose drives action toward achieving the goal.

I must confess…I don’t believe people will exceed current limits without understanding why they should contribute to the effort to do so.

In a previous post about the topic of leadership, I confessed I believed inspirational leaders actually lead from behind rather than being out front of their group with a great big title.

I must confess…a leader who emphasizes and leads from a position of her/his title is guilty of egotism, at a minimum.  Excessive ego in a leader is a lighted match to the timber (people) of an organization.  The fire burns hot and destroys everything in its path!

My next confession is leaders do not move their people and the organization ahead through words, only.  Yes, the use of words is critical to understanding.

The larger confession here, though, is words alone do not pull people past current limits.  Inspirational leaders have an attitude of deeply caring.  Caring about outcomes but caring even more about the people delivering those outcomes.

I confess…I believe a leader who takes time to care is like a great beer or fine wine being allowed the time to age to perfection.  People who feel cared for will pour their souls into exceeding current limits and deliver vintage results!

Here’s another confession.  Inspirational leaders lead through actions.  When people see their leader walking the talk through his/her supporting actions, they will run to follow that leader wherever he or she wants to go.

So, if you want to be an inspirational leader you must confess your willingness to do these things:

  • If you want your people to understand your vision, you must understand them first so the vision can be tied to their purposes.
  • Allow your ego to be fed from the accomplishments of your people not the title after your name.
  • Believe words are a platform to help understanding but not the foundation for progress.
  • Care for your people because they create the pulse for your future as a leader.
  • Assure your actions are consistent with the message you are delivering and getting the ultimate results you want.

I suppose I could continue with additional confessions about what inspirational leadership actually is but, if you delivered on the above 5 points you would be exactly that…an inspirational leader!

On the other hand, if you confess to yourself you need to get even deeper understanding of what inspirational leadership actually is, read a great book by Simon Sinek.  Here’s a link to the Amazon page for “Leaders Eat Last.”

I confess…I have no financial interest in you buying Sinek’s book.  ☺

garylogonewbrownsmallWhat is the first step you will take in becoming a more inspirational leader?

Please share your thoughts by commenting below.  

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Crop of GNCC ShotMindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) provides self-employed people inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps self-employed people better profit through performance.

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