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When I think about the skill of inspiration as it deals with leadership, I always remember a quote from Vince Lombbardi

“”Leadership is based on a spiritual quality; the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow.”

The problem with just saying that leaders need the skill, or quality, to inspire is that it causes someone to ask “how do I learn that skill?”

After all, what makes a leader inspirational? Inspiration from a leader is when the leader can communicate that passion, purpose and meaning to others helps establish the inspirational culture of the vision.

Now that is a very long definition, so I wanted to touch on a few key points when it comes to inspiration.

First, you have to feel passionate about the vision and mission. You then need to be able to share that passion in a way that enables others to feel passionate, too. Sometimes leaders have to help their team connect the dots by explaining this big picture to all. Communicating the big picture regularly will help reinforce the vision to the team.
As a leader, you need to listen to the people on the team. Not just the people, the individual. Talking to people about your passion is not enough. To “truly communicate you must allow the ideas and thoughts of your team to help form the vision and mission, or minimally, the goals and action plan. Leaders understand that the team is more inspired to support a vision or goal when they have a part in formulating that vision.

The individuals on your team need to feel included. Inclusion goes beyond the listening and feedback; for real inclusion, people need to feel intimately connected to the processes that are involved in achieving the goal.

Another key ingredient to inspiring the team is the integrity of the leader, yes YOU! The team must trust you to feel inspired. They must believe in you. Your “character” is just as important as the direction you provide. Team members want a leader who tells the truth, tries to do the right things, and does their best. Trust me. Your actions play out on the stage when you are leading a team.

This week’s experiment; be an inspiration to your team. Go inspire!