Top traits of inspiring leaders

Oct 05, 2016

Top traits of inspiring leaders

What impact do Inspiring Leaders Have?

Effective leaders provide a truly memorable experience for their employees and the entire world. They come in all shapes and sizes and each leader is different but the one common ground effective leaders have is that they are all inspiring. 

Whether you think your own boss is an inspiring leader, whether you think Steve Jobs was the most inspiring leader that the world has seen or whether it was Mahatma Gandhi, we can all agree that there is so much to learn from them and many others.


The importance of engagement

As an employee, you need to remain engaged at work otherwise you tend to start resenting going to work and typically, your productivity level falls. Whose fault is this? One place we can look to improve is the leader or manager, it is partly their job to keep you engaged. A survey conducted by Mercer Consulting stated that one-third of US employees are so unhappy that they are thinking of leaving their jobs. This shocking fact highlights the fact that change is needed.


Consider this
“The talented employee may join a company because of its leadership leaders, its generous benefits, and its world-class training programs, but how long that employee stays and how productive they are while they are there is determined by the relationship with their immediate boss"

Research from thousands of employees, Marcus Buckingham ‘First Break All The Rules’

Let’s take a look at Steve Jobs, who was notoriously famous for his tendencies to micromanage. One employee who worked for him, Chris Espinosa, highlighted the fact that Steve Jobs always poked his nose into the work that his employees were doing to ensure that they were doing a superb job. Micromanagement isn’t always beneficial however but in this sense it does show the passion and dedication that Steve Jobs showed by ensuring that his workforce are carrying out the company’s vision and goals properly.


On the contrast, Burrell Smith verified that Jobs’ had different management styles depending on the situation, he claimed that Jobs’ gave adequate space for his hardware engineers to work in while being sheltered from all the “corporate noise”.


The important note to take from Steve jobs is that inspiring leaders have different management styles and they use the most suitable style in order to get the most out of their employees. Win over your employees trust, recognise strengths and use them to stay one step ahead of the rest.


Creating the vision that isn’t there 

There is something special about the leaders that are pioneers in what they do or what they have done. Martin Luther King dreamt of a world where all people had fair civil rights regardless of race, religion… free from discrimination and prejudice. 

These beliefs that he had in the 1950s and 1960s were opposite of the status quo in America and this is what was revolutionary and inspirational about his life, he inspired people to stand up and follow his strictly peaceful motion and eventually his efforts paid off and is one of the most inspirational leader the world has seen.


Creating a vision in the corporate world is simply painting a picture to people of where you see your company in the future. This picture is intended to motivate, captivate and engage people to also join you on your path to fulfilling the vision. 

Bill Gates had the revolution vision where everybody in the USA would have their own personal computer, this goal at the time was farfetched for his 30-man company over 30 years ago. Now if you take a look, his vision has been a success. Although not everybody has their own personal computer, the vast majority of households do and now due to the smartphone revolution, one could argue that we may not have a pc in our home, but we are carrying it around in our pockets, handbags or rucksacks.. 


To sum up, even if your vision seems ridiculous at the time, nothing can stop you from making it a reality, whether it's in 5 years time or 50 years time. Anything is possible and it takes an inspirational leader to come up with inspirational visions.


They are not egotistic

The most inspiring people are the ones that seem to be the most relatable to, the ones that don’t put themselves on a pedestal, ones they you could say that are just like you, me and everyone. Truly inspirational leaders believe in empowerment for everybody, a collective power that embraces individuals for what they can do, this movement is much more effective for building momentum in a company or for a campaign.


Take a look at Jeremy Corbyn, some people idolise him for how inspiring he is as a political leader for the labour party. Why do they idolise him? Politicians are often criticised for being involved in corrupt, tax-avoidance schemes which make them look shady at times, however, there is tons of pictures, videos and testimonials of Jeremy Corbyn simply acting really normal. For example, he always takes public transport (busses and tubes), he regularly visits schools and simply talks with the youth of today. Some people find these acts inspiring because he is doing what not many other political leaders are doing. He is a people’s man and doesn’t have this ego where just because he is a political leader he is above the people. The question is, as he has now been accepted and voted to lead the Labour party, will they be victorious and will he lead them to a Labour victory, in the next general election?

Inspirational leaders have many traits that make them who they are. It’s important as a new leader to recognise and learn from others and at all times be curious and be willing to adapt to whatever is round the corner. 

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

Effective leaders come in all shapes and sizes and each leader is different but the one common ground effective leaders have is that they are all inspiring. 

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