Why Inspiring Others Is So Important In A Leadership Role
As a leader it can be easy to use the words inspiration and motivation interchangeably. At the surface they seem very similar and using either word will result in the desired outcomes. However, the reality is that they are in fact quite different. As a leader when you are motivating your team you have created some sort of external system that motivates your team to move towards the desired outcome. Inspiration, on the other hand, compels them from within to move towards the desired outcome. This is an important distinction because inevitably you and your team will face obstacles. With an external motivation system in place, people might decide the obstacles outweigh the motivation, and then you do not achieve the desired results. However, when there is internal inspiration, a team is inspired to keep moving towards the goal regardless of the obstacles that might arise. They will simply find a way to work around the obstacles. In a leadership role, inspiring others is one of the most important things you can do.
In his TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” Simon Sinek teaches us that the most inspirational leaders ignite a spark within their employees and followers that move them to action. Inspiration compels people to take action. And one of the best ways to do this is provide a high level of clarity for your mission, vision and values. It’s not enough to articulate what you do. It’s paramount to articulate why you do what you do. When people know how their role fits into the greater why, they are more inspired to navigate obstacles and continually push to move forward towards the desired goals.
Practically speaking, there are several strategies you can use to inspire your employees and followers. One is to paint a picture of the desired outcome. When people can close their eyes and vividly imagine a world where you’ve achieved your mission and goals, they are inspired to take any action necessary to make this picture a reality. Another is to work alongside your team. People are inspired when they believe that the team, including the leaders, are all in this together. Additionally, inspiring leaders invite others to step into their potential. When each team member can envision the desired outcome and is then invited to share how they think their strengths can help the team get there, people are inspired to step up and do their part to lift the team.
When a leader is able to inspire their employees and followers there is no limit to what is possible.