True leaders are individuals who possesses the ability to inspire and motivate others. While anyone who holds a position of authority may be considered a leader in the traditional sense, being an inspirational leader takes empathy, effort and integrity.
A Leader’s Role
Many assume that a leader’s job is to direct and instruct, but this is only part of the picture. Instead, leadership should be grounded in the philosophy that people can learn and be inspired by one’s own passion and experience.
A leader is meant to encourage, uplift and inspire others to reach their best potential. Rather than capitalizing on people’s strengths and anchoring them to the present, leaders are able to help others look inward and achieve greatness by reaching current objectives and developing greater capability along the way.
Good leaders do not believe they are superior to the people they are helping. Instead, they understand that they have knowledge and experience that can be used to help others on their journey. Whether it’s a manager or team director, good leaders still see themselves as part of a team.
Inspirational leaders employ active listening; they know how to make people feel heard and validated when they speak, and they thrive off the open exchange of ideas. These leaders know how to make people feel empowered by tuning in and giving them their full attention in every conversation.
The most inspirational leaders move others by their actions, not their words. Anyone can espouse thoughtful words or bestow wisdom, but the best leaders live their lives by compassionate ethics.
They’re flexible and willing to hear others out, and they respect those with differing views, but the best leaders never fail to adhere to their own values and live their lives in congruence with what they believe is the best for everyone, not just themselves.
To become a truly inspirational leader, one must begin to live their life as such. Rather than focusing on ideologies and methods, it’s more important to look at real-world examples and discover meaningful ways to connect and guide others toward their goals.
No matter their personal approach to leadership, all inspirational leaders are, at their core, authentic.