Inspiration – a Key Leadership Quality

Do you inspire others? Who inspires you?

Inspiration is one of the five top qualities necessary to become a great leader according to an article by Mark Shead called Leadership Traits – Five Top Leadership Qualities. He gives an example:

A great example of inspiration is when Steve Jobs stole the CEO from Pepsi by asking him, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?” Being inspiring means showing people the big picture and helping them see beyond a narrow focus and understand how their part fits into the big picture.

Helping other to see the big picture is a valuable trait.  

Leaders need to focus more on inspiration and less on coercion and motivation. Dov Seidman

What is it about those who inspire us? Do they challenge us? Sympathize with our plight? Give us the wisdom of their experience?

Michael Angier has written an article called 10 Ways to Inspire Others. It is all about attitude; empathy, encouragement, leading by example.

In fact, inspiration is such an important leadership trait that CNN recently offered an article by Dov Seidman who is the author of “HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything” and CEO of LRN a company that helps businesses develop values-based corporate cultures. The article is called To Inspire Others, It’s How You Do It That Counts.

There are three ways to get people to do things: coercion, motivation or inspiration. Leaders need to focus on inspiration as much as or more than coercion and motivation, since external rewards and carrots and sticks have limitations, particularly in hard times when there are fewer carrots to go round.

Would you consider yourself inspirational to others? Are you viewed as a leader by your peers and associates?