What makes a leader inspirational? There are the obvious answers; ability to paint clear vision of the future, effective communicator, charismatic, great motivator, etc. But digging a little deeper, what are the key behaviors that inspirational leaders display beyond the obvious answers? Thinking back about all of the leaders we have worked with over the years and thinking about the ones that did a great job at inspiring others, there have been a few commonalities. Here are the Five Key Behaviors of inspirational leaders:
1. Passion for Developing Others
Inspirational leaders have a clear focus and passion about the growth and development of their employees. They spend time mentoring employees in a real and meaningful way. They feel a deep sense of achievement when the people around them overcome challenges and develop new skills. They understand the importance of developing key skills and competencies throughout the organization and actively participate in the process.
2. Work Alongside Employees
Their willingness to roll up their sleeves, climb in the trenches, and get the work done. This is especially important when things aren’t going well. Rather than distancing themselves from the challenges, inspirational leaders dig in and work alongside everyone else to define the problems and identify and implement the solutions. This behavior significantly improves trust between leaders and employees and it positively impacts buy-in into the organizational goals and overall direction.
3. Make Connection to the Vision
They not only communicate a clear vision, they also can clearly explain how each role in the organization is linked to fulfilling that vision. People want to know how the work they are doing makes an impact on the overall success of the organization and an inspirational leader has the ability to make sure each person understands that link and feels appreciated for their contribution.
4. Make Real Connections with People
Leaders who are inspirational know the importance of getting to know their employees and truly care about them. They understand the importance of empathy as a leadership trait. The connection they build with their employees allows them to lead in a more meaningful and impactful way. They take into consideration the individual needs of each of their employees and flex their interactions accordingly.
5. Have Fun
Lastly, they know how to have some fun!! And they know how important it is to promote fun in the workplace. Inspirational leaders want people to enjoy coming to work and aren’t afraid to let their guard down and be silly on occasion. They develop an organizational culture where employees feel free to create opportunities to engage in fun activities, to laugh, to be silly, and to have a great time at work.
So you want to be an inspirational leader? Participate in the development of the people around you, work alongside your employees, ensure that each individual knows how their work impacts the overall vision, make real connections with people, and have some fun!! If you consistently display these five Key Behaviors you will inspire everyone around you to believe in what they do and to work to their full potential every day.