-From Mitch Barns Blog
When people are asked, “What do you want from a leader?” one of the most common replies is, “Inspiration.” What does it mean? What does it look like?
The quality of being “inspiring” can take many different forms. Some are overt, while others are more subtle. Here are ten varieties of “inspiring”.
1. Confidence. The type of confidence that many find inspiring is “poise,” which I think of as the combination of confidence and calmness.
2. Optimism. Optimism is about seeing a future that is better than today’s reality. At some level, it’s a choice.
3. Energy. One of energy’s many forms is optimism put into motion in a way that energizes others.
4. Courage. Courage is about rising above fear and acting. It is inspiring to see someone to do that. (Note: If no fear, then no need for courage. So fear can be inspiring too.)
5. Clarity. Stating our objectives with sophisticated words might sound impressive, but the result is often abstract and not so inspiring. Inspiring missions are usually concrete, simple, and crystal clear. For example, which is more clear and inspiring? “We want to achieve topline growth that is significantly above the rate of our competitive peer group,” or “We want to double the business in 3 years.”
6. Decisiveness. Enough said.
7. Perseverance. There are almost always more paths to failure than to success. There are almost always more reasons to stop than to continue. When you keep going anyway and somehow find a way through it all, you are inspiring (or crazy!).
8. Integrity. Opportunities abound to take (inappropriate) shortcuts to gain an advantage. Sometimes, the situation is such that “no one will ever know”. When a person resists those temptations and insists on “winning the right way”, that is incredibly inspiring.
9. Sacrifice. When a leader suffers for the cause or puts the group’s interests above his/her own…it stirs something inside of us. It inspires us.
10. Balance. It is exciting to see someone achieve success. It is inspiring to see that same success achieved in the context of a balanced life. It tells us, “Sacrifice is not a chronic condition required for success,” … and that is both reassuring and inspiring.
What do you find inspiring in a leader?