Inspiration – Leadership by Example

Being a motivator, Advocate for the Business, Be the boss people want to work for, happiness leads to greater productivity, Stress Resistance 

Great leaders move us. They ignite our passion an inspire the best in us. When we try to explain why they are so effective, we speak of strategy, vision, or powerful ideas. But the reality is much more primal: Great leadership works through emotions..

The New Leaders by Daniel Goleman

What helps you jump out of bed and run to work? Your team, the work you are doing, your boss? Who wants to work for you gain?

It is not always the same but they all impact on you, without a doubt part of a leaders role is to help their people do more. How do you?

Something bigger

Hopefully your vision/mission/purpose is something you understand and believe in.  Where it is, aligning this to the day to day tasks and projects, will help people connect to something bigger than themselves. Sometimes it is focus on their actual, or it could be wider the work they do as a corporate citizen.

The champion of your people

Grow psychological safety, remove the risk of talking about anything that needs to be talked about.   They need to know that you have their back. That you advocate for them and when they fail you, you help them become better, to grow from the experience.


“Optimism is a force multiplier.”

– Colin Powell

Work for a leader that believes in what they are doing and who they are doing it with, is just inspiring. They will be able to see a path through the troubled times, that everything we have done is not wasted.  Optimists create more businesses.

Colin Powell (in his book, It Worked For Me) says military training is the best preparation for approaching difficult situations with an optimistic outlook. The following was drilled into Powell: “Lieutenant, you may be starving, but you must never show hunger. You may be freezing or near heat exhaustion, but you must never show that you are cold or hot. You may be terrified, but you must never show fear. You are the leader and the troops will reflect your emotions.”

Powell tempers his optimism with logic. “Maybe it can’t be done, but always start out believing it can be done until facts and analysis pile up against it. Don’t surround yourself by skeptics but don’t shut out skeptics who give you solid counterviews.”

“Every exemplary leader that I have met has what seems to be an unwarranted degree of optimism – and that helps generate the energy and commitment necessary to achieve results.”

The Leadership Advantage, an essay from the Drucker Foundation’s Leader to Leader Guide, Warren Bennis


The best leaders are known for all their successes as they get ahead of problems before they occur. This is often because you have the information you need, as people are willing to share, sometimes early to allow you to get ahead of the problem.


“We have three innate psychological needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When those needs are satisfied, we’re motivated, productive, and happy.”
Daniel H. Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Read Daniel Pinks’ book Driven.  Beyond a certain threshold money doesn’t matter; what matters is that people have autonomy, mastery, and purpose in their work and their lives. While external rewards worked for the mundane tasks of the last few centuries, they are actually counter-productive to success in the 21st century where what we really need is more creativity.

Bain Inspiration Leadership Model

In a survey of 2,000 employees, Bain & Company found 33 leadership traits:


“You may be able to “buy” a person’s back with a paycheck, position, power, or fear, but a human being’s genius, passion, loyalty, and tenacious creativity are volunteered only.”
— L. David Marquet, Turn the Ship Around!

Thoughts on Inspiration

  • Who inspires you? what can you learn from them?
  • You need a vision and a plan
  • Should be aligned with companies vision and values
  • Openness to new ideas
  • Turn problems and constraints into opportunities
  • Manage or ignore what you cannot change
  • Coherence between body language and what you say
  • Have a career plan for each member of your team
  • Pay attention to your teams, needs, wants and desires
  • That they matter to you and the company – and showing it

Resources for Inspiration:

Back to the list of traits

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