Photo by Climate KIC on Unsplash
What Makes an Inspiring Leader?
When people ask me for tips on being a great leader, I often tell them to “Try to be an inspiring leader, the kind that who makes their employees really look forward to going to work each day.” At its core, an inspiring leader not only inspires, but empowers too.
I have had many types of leaders during my many years in Corporate America. It is extremely easy to remember the difficult ones who were mean and micromanagers, but it is just as easy to remember the great ones too. One leader in particular I remember quite fondly. He would come to work every day, grab a coffee, and immediately head to his office to remove his shoes. He would then spend the rest of the day walking around in his socks.
I was initially taken aback by this, but I realized that this was his leadership style. He would make his rounds (in his socks, mind you) around the office, speaking to employees, often asking about their weekend or their families. He really cared about employees and what their life was life outside of the office environment. When he was around, you always heard laughter in the hallways. His relatable demeanor was one of the reasons who he was respected and admired as a leader–he became someone we all found to trust and inspire us daily.
What Can You Do to Be an Inspiring Leader?
Employees want to feel supported and part of something they love. While not every leader is going to walk around in his socks and ask about your weekend, there are a few things that you can do to inspire employees who show up every day ready to work.
Be inspirational. While there are many great leaders throughout history, the late Steve Jobs of Apple is a great one for this. Jobs was not only passionate about computers, he was also enthusiastic about creating tools that allowed others to use their creativity. His enthusiasm inspired his employees to push the envelope of was possible and dream big. What are you passionate about? What can you do to get your employees to show their passion too?
Have a vision. This is not the same as having a step-by-step plan. For you to be an inspiring leader, you should be able to clearly express your vision to anyone. Does your vision excite those around you? Can they see it and understand it? If not, how can you rephrase it?
Create dialogue. Inspiring leaders and dictators sit at opposite ends of the spectrum for a reason. One listens and communicates effectively, while the other, not so much. Are you listening just as much, if not more, then speaking? Do you invite and encourage your employees to join the conversation and express their opinions?
Look for and grow potential.
Did you know that Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer, has been labelled one of the happiest places to work in the world? (Forbes) Not only do they take customer service extremely seriously, but they also take a personal interest in each worker, often discovering hidden talents and helping them realize it. What are the special talents on your team? What can you do help them grow it?
Be That Inspiring Leader Now!
So, how can you be a memorable leader? You can inspire your employees to reach greater heights, you excite them with your vision for the company and them, you can create a safe space that encourages dialogue, and you can nurture professional growth. And if all else fails and you just can’t figure it out, you can reach out to us at Stacie Speaker Coaching and see how we can help you.