Leaders inspire others to be better versions of themselves. They inspire evolution in the perception of the follower. An evolution that comes with picking up new traits or habits, and leaving behind ones that are no longer needed.
Increasing focus, concentration and work ethic are some to name a few. Inspiring change is the end goal. Not only do leaders prove by example, but they are able to redefine for the follower their perspective about the world. This article on Forbes.com discusses a few qualities of leaders. Below, I outline how these leaders inspire action.
However, there is one gigantic barrier to overcome when taking on a leadership role. That barrier is either incentivizing or motivating. Neither of these are handouts.
There is no key to the door, only a method to go about to learn how to pick the lock. It is the goal of a leader is to inspire action. But that action has to have an internal locus of control.
The person looking up to the leader must want it for themselves, be able to do it by themselves, and be able to repeat the results by themselves. If those effects come true, the leader has truly become a leader.
The leader must inspire the follower to be motivated themselves for otherwise, the moment the leader leaves, the motivation does as well.
A personal trainer can be a great leader. Helping a client lose 30 lbs. would be fantastic. Once the training sessions are up, and a few months go by, if the client gained the weight back, at what point was the trainer actually an effective leader? At what point is it not to asses the leaders’ skills, but the ability to motivate the client to change?
Where is the line drawn between a poor leader and an unwilling follower? Can a great leader truly inspire anyone to be internally motivated, or is it a combination of unknown forces collaborating to storm up change inside an individual?
A leader cannot give out motivation, they must inspire it within, otherwise it is ineffective. Often in the work environment, money is seen as a great motivator.
However, more often than not, praise from a coworker or superior is valued higher in the worker’s mind. The idea that they can be praised for their work is motivational beyond monetary value because it is intangible. Teaching the intangible, a.k.a praise, recognition, connection is what inspires and motivates.
These traits define a great leader. Steve Jobs inspired millions of people to challenge the status quo, be a rebel, and change the system.
The empire that he began is a motivator for many young entrepreneurs, creators and artists today. Without his ability to inspire action, whether it be to buy a computer from Apple, or more generally, pursue your rebellious dreams, Steve Jobs was a true leader.
What are your thoughts about leaders?
Who in your life is a great leader that inspired action and thus change?
Tell me your story, I would love to hear it.
Until we meet again!
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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