I Have a dream

How True Leaders Inspire? 5 Principles You Absolutely Need

Imagine a workplace where people wake up inspired to go to work, where trust and loyalty are the rule rather than the exception and where your colleagues feel safe to work. Research shows that employees perform their best when they have pride in what they do, when they enjoy the people they work with and trust the people they work for.

“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people because they believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood sweat and tears”

Simon Sinek

As a leader, how are you creating an environment that motivates teams to reach their highest potential? How do you stir up passion, commitment and energy in others?  Consider these principles, and this weeks recommended top reads:

1. People don’t buy what you do but why you do it

Why are some people or firms so successful while others, often equally qualified, fail to measure up? The answer lies in a behavior and communication pattern called “the golden circle.” Picture it as three concentric rings. The outer ring signifies “what”: All people and organizations know what they do. The middle ring represents “how”: Many can explain their unique selling proposition, “proprietary process” or secret ingredient. The innermost circle symbolizes “why”: Few can pinpoint their purpose or explain why their work matters. Profit is not a reason; it is a result. Your vision is why you produce or create.

2. Conversation is an art to a great leader

Leadership is a conversation, however it is not just about the message, Great conversation is an art and it has many levels to understand and master. A book I feel explains this really well is “Leadership and the art of conversation” by “Kim Kriscoe”

So! Intelligence is necessary to send the message, but emotional intelligence is vital for the message to reach its intended audience. Self-awareness, empathy, social skills, as well as the ability to manage and harness emotions to apply them to reasoning and problem-solving are indicators of high emotional intelligence – a key component of effective leadership.

3. Greatness is not achieved through power but through a leaders ability to empower others

Empowering others is the key to building successful, high-functioning teams. One of the roles of the effective leader is to give employees tools and knowledge necessary to make decisions; allowing them to take ownership for their actions. By doing this, leaders build an environment where people are empowered. People feel inspired to open up, share ideas, try new things, as well as challenge themselves … and others. As a leader, one of the best things you can offer your team is the ability to discover their hidden potential.

4. The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own example

Being a leader means setting an example. Your actions will define the actions of people working around you. If you do not invest 110% in your goal, don’t expect others to. In other words, the “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy will never work. Double standards often lead to loss of motivation and enthusiasm, disappointment and cynicism. People look to their employers for guidance, strength, wisdom and expertise. Leading by example means inspiring those around you to constantly strive for greatness by doing it yourself. Put differently, “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” Ray Kroc

5. Genuine leaders don’t search for agreement, they unite agreement

Setting SMART goals, managing them, and making right decisions are not just qualities, but responsibilities of a leader. A leader ensures the team works collaboratively to achieve shared goals. Uniting agreement means [respectfully] allowing others to voice their opinion in the process and feel like an integral part of the solution. A clear consensus cannot be forced. It is achieved through wisdom and facilitation of the leader.  Through unified work, agreement can be reached.

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” 

Martin Luther King, Jr. / “I Have A Dream” speech, August 28, 1963

Just by having manager, director or CEO in your job title doesn’t automatically make you a great leader, just as being a leader doesn’t mean you have to be in management. Anyone can inspire and influence people around them. Embody these principles and you will be well on your way!

Until next week, for more blogs in the LRC Bitesize series click here. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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LRC Bitesize

Additional reading you might enjoy;

Hi! I`m Chris Webb, I live in the South East and started Leaders Retail Consultancy in 2019. Before freelancing, I was a senior retail leader for a number of the UK’s top retailers gaining experience over 23 glorious years. When I am not coaching I enjoy spending time with the family or in the gym.

Click here for more information about Leaders Retail Consultancy

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