Top Tips: Inspire your team

We all aspire to be great leaders. When we look at leaders, we admire one quality. That quality is the ability to inspire people. How do they do this? Is it skill that can be learned, or is it just natural charisma?
The good news is that the ability to inspire people is the same as any other aspect of leadership, skill that can be learned.
Here are some top tips that will help you develop this rare and invaluable skill.

1 Be passionate
When an inspiring leader is described, you always hear the same word and that word is “passionate “. If you care about something, and I mean really care, don’t be afraid to be passionate about it. Share it; scream it from the rooftops if you have to. Even if people don’t initially share that same passion, eventually they will.

2 Be honest about your weaknesses
If you have been manager for significant amount of time, you may have forgotten this key fact, so you may want to sit down while you read this. Your team knows you are not perfect. Every member of the team has areas they need to develop and you are no different. Share those challenges with your team. They won’t be viewed as weaknesses and to be honest, they will, more than likely already know.

3 Care about people
Deep down at some level we all want to feel valued. We want to believe that there is some greater reason for our existence. While as leader, you can never fill the need that should be filled by healthy personal relationships, remember to ask your staff about their weekend, how they are feeling, share joke or two. It’s the small things that count. Show that you value them not only as an employee but as person.

4 Share the vision
We all live in our own world, each with its own set of priorities but all sharing one consistent theme. We are each the main character in our individual story. We are the focus of our own world within bigger world. When sharing your vision make people understand what role they play and stress just how important that role is. They need to embrace your world as if it’s their own.

5 Become storyteller
There has never been person that has been inspired by graph – well not sane person anyway. Share your journey and the journeys of people who have been on similar path that you are now expecting your team to take. Make the journey real to people, make them realise that the emotions they feel have been felt by others including yourself, but like those people before them, they will find that this journey is the right one.

6 Go beyond what is expected
In order to expect your team to do things which will amaze and impress you, first of all you have to do the same for them. Find out what is the most they expect of you as leader and then use that as your starting point. Exceed what is expected of you and your team will do the same in return.

7 Be responsible but not accountable for everything
You are the boss and the buck stops with you. Make sure that your team knows their roles and what they are accountable for but make sure everyone is aware that the only person responsible for any failure is yourself. Remember the words of Winston Churchill “Responsibility is the price of greatness”. In the end its greatness that inspires people. M

Mark Wager is leadership coach with Elite LD. [email protected].

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