You must be clear on your life purpose and your team’s purpose – why do you do what you do? Inspiring leadership is a lead indicator of performance and the healthiest way of interacting with other people. Inspiring leaders are energised so that everyone performs at their best. They show courage, humility and vulnerability to bring out the best in others.
Read about the eight key factors that influence your leadership potential.
You live life according to a clear set of principles, values and beliefs that guide your decisions, choices and actions. You aim to do the right thing at work and in your community. Your work ethics, professionalism and moral intelligence define how much other people trust and willingly follow you. They are reassured by the consistency with which you know what you will do and what you will not do. Your word is your bond.
You seek purpose and meaning in your personal life and work. This is your why. This leads to a more complete, satisfying and fulfilling life. This includes spiritual intelligence (while not not necessarily needing to involve a religious belief). Mark Twain said “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you found out why”. Your clear sense of purpose naturally informs your mission vision and values for your work, your team and the organisation you choose to work for.
You strive to achieve and maintain good physical and mental health. Your focus must be on personal performance through optimising your eating, moving, sleeping and breathing.
Your overall wellbeing comes from evidence-based nutrition, being physically fit, emotionally balanced, energetic and productive. As a healthy leader you can positively influence others so they give discretionary life energy to your teams, clients and organisations.
IQ accounts for 6% of your performance. It is more than just a mere test and there are multiple types of intelligence. As well as being intellectually smart you need to acquire sound judgement and deep wisdom. Your wisdom is influenced by the company you keep and your willingness to learn from your mistakes and see them as teachable moments. Select a support team of wise coaches, mentors and advisers to guide you in key decisions you must make.
To use your emotions intelligently you need to:
This is your ability to successfully cope with disappointment, crisis and even catastrophe. It is also your ability to recover from your setbacks and to learn from them. As a result of this process you often become wiser and more resilient than before. This is more than not being fragile or robust. This is about being anti-fragile. Consequently your philosophy should be OOMS – Obstacles Make Me Stronger. The stoic’s approach is helpful in handling adversity: “It’s not the events that are a problem, it’s your thoughts about those events which are” (Emperor Marcus Aurelius).
“Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO.
Consider how you can build your emotional bank accounts with other people so they trust you, willingly follow you and respect you. Attitude always trumps knowledge and skills. It is important to maintain a positive attitude and sense of appreciation of others. On top of that foundation you can build your knowledge and skills of your own profession in order to become credible.
This is what you leave behind after years of work. Whether you own a business or you are a leader in an organisation your object should be to leave it in a better state than it was when you started.
This is what you leave behind after each role you complete and years of work. Your legacy is the impact you have made on your organisation, colleagues, community and society. You should make an important and sustainable difference based on your personal contribution. Ask yourself: Am I leading a life of: survival, success or significance?
What makes a good leader? We explore the question with leaders who have achieved great successes in their own right. To find out how inspiring a leader you are, take the Online Inspiring Leadership Survey.