Yesterday I gave an MBA Masterclass on FAST #Leadership to a class at Staffordshire University. During the class we had an excellent Q&A session, and it was great to hear the challenges being faced by people in other areas of business such as Education, National Health Services etc..
Throughout the discussions is was clear there was a common thread of the challenges we all face, irrespective of the business sector we work in, and it’s one of igniting the passion in our teams, getting them motivated and mobilised to to attempt the goals that we have set, or have been set.
The more I think about it and the more I discuss what are the key traits of #leadership with other leaders, the more and more it comes back to inspiration, and being an inspiring leader.
I know that for many they may not think that this is good news as their is a perception that being an inspiring leader requires leaders to be charismatic, dashing and daring.
Now whilst its true that many inspiring leaders do have some of those other qualities too, there are many inspiring leaders who are just ordinary people who decide to do something extraordinary which in turn inspires us.
So we must not believe that we cannot be inspiring leaders, as John Quincy Adams if your actions inspire others to do more, dream more, want more…so its not just about our charisma, it’s about our actions, about what we do.
I also believe we can inspire people when we can show them how they can be successful, when we create a plan or an approach which shows the way to success and we create belief.
It’s belief that inspires people, and we can create belief by either having people believing in the leader, which then can be more about charisma, trust in the leader, or we can create belief via the plan and the approach.
If I had to choose between those two options I would choose belief in the plan or approach, that way if the leader leaves or moves on the people still have belief and the success can be sustained. Whereas if the belief comes from just the leader then that belief dies when the leader leaves and the success dies too.
So to inspire people and create sustainable success we need to create belief in the teams that they can be successful if they follow a particular approach, create belief in themselves.
As they say teach a person to fish, rater than doing the fishing for them which is more the charismatic inspiring leader route.
So don’t look to inspire by force or personality, or believe that you cannot inspire because you don’t have that type of personality.
Instead look to inspire by showing the way to success, creating that vision and communicating it clearly and simply.
Leadership, its not about you, it’s about the people that follow you and their belief in themselves and in the plan.
Not all leaders need to wear their underwear on the outside!