Powerful and effective leadership definitely has one key component – inspiration.
No wonder inspiration from the leadership team brings about better employee motivation, performance, engagement and deep commitment. If the leader is successful in communicating the organisational purpose with passion and transparency, then he has actually established the inspirational culture within the organisation. Others will certainly follow suit.
All successful and inspiring leaders have key facets that build confidence in team members and provide the latter with a direction to follow
- Approachable and open to listen: Gone is the stereotype leader of yesteryears whom people dreaded, where the former did not keep any channel of communication open to make employees feel comfortable. However, things are not the same today. The new age leader is a good listener and gives 100% attention to what is being said. He is approachable and strives to build strong relationships with all his team members. He has high EQ and can empathise with people, connect to them on one-to-one level, read them like a book, yes, even the unspoken communication. Such as approach will boost the morale of employees to maintain a positive attitude always.
- Be well informed and well read: Only a leader who has a broad understanding of various subjects, ranging from management, politics, finance, global trends and even behavioural psychology can command respect. The knowledge can be gained from various sources not just reading books, journals or biographies of leaders, but also by listening and providing solutions to others’ problems. For example, the extent of learning I received while volunteering during the Chennai floods, the behavioural patterns among the public during demonetization and analysis of Trump’s victory, etc., provided a holistic learning experience for me. A leader will always have something substantial to share with his team members, whenever he meets them. Such a person will exhibit confidence and trust and remain a great inspiration for employees.
- Remain transparent in communication: When leaders are transparent, employees trust them and relate to them better. In case, if any false expectations are set, due to some reason, care should be taken to remove it and apologise, before the employees feel betrayed. Leaders should also be open to feedback from employees and see the relevance. Today, social media also provides an opportunity for the leader to share his thoughts and experiences, even if they are not perfect. This attitude makes them real and human, thus enabling employees to connect with them better.
- During crisis, lead from the front: This attribute of the leader is truly inspirational. During good times, everything looks hunky dory and it is easy to lead a team of already happy individuals. But how should the team lead respond when bad news arrives? Yes it is not simple, however, this is also an opportunity for the leader to show his integrity and strength. He should accept the failure, analyse it calmly and logically and arrive at a solution and communicate the same to the employees. This will induce confidence in employees and the respect for such a leader will go higher.
- Coach them instead of just instructing: Good leaders have the ability to make people realise their own potential and capabilities. They almost, always leave a positive impact on all they are associated with. They help employees to have different experiences, discover themselves, learn new things, carve their own career path to attain success, which is very motivating to employees. Good leaders do not push employees by only telling them what to do and set deadlines. Such behaviour only pressurises employees, who become de-motivated and not perform to their best ability leading to low quality delivery. For overall growth of the organisation, the leader should coach employees on an on-going basis and also ‘Walk the Talk’.