Continuing with our leadership survey results, inspirational leadership qualities is another key aspect of effective leaders.
I remember playing in the second division of a league a few years ago. We were a first division team but poor performance the previous year relegated us to the lower division. The poor form continued and we struggled to win the first two games. Win we did, but unconvincingly.
It was the third game of the season, and the team continued to struggle against a regular lower division team. Sometime after the first hour, the opposition batsman and the umpire had a short conversation. The umpire then mentioned something to our captain.
Immediately the captain called our team aside and asked us if we thought we were a first division team. Without waiting for an answer he told us that the opposition batsman was surprised he was not able to score runs freely against our bowling. The umpire mentioned to the batsman that he was facing a proper A division team.
Our captain then told us that if the opposition team thinks we are good and the umpire is convinced we are an A division team, then why were we doubting our own selves?
I believe that talk by the captain was as inspirational as it was timely. We won that game convincingly; then won the 7 remaining games during the season. We brushed aside the opposition in the semi-finals and won the finals, without dropping a single game the whole season. We thundered back into the upper division.
From the cricket story above, an important aspect of inspirational leadership is effective communication. Timely, sharp communication that hits the receiver with impact, such as the cricket talk, is very effective. It could be good feedback that you provide or it could be a compliment. But the delivery has to be genuine, timely and personal. The style has to show that you care about the outcome, the team member and the cause. It becomes much easier when some incentive is already built in (such as a project at work). It is more difficult when people join voluntarily or when they pay to join.
A tribute to a very inspirational captain, Ian Chappell (featured image) by Ashley Mallett who played under Chappel’s captaincy is available here on cricinfo.
Other qualities that inspire people are:
1. Sharing and helping others with their issues/problems, growth
2. Subject matter expertise
3. Visionary, one who sets goals and chalks out a path towards the goal
4. Confident leader, who pulls the group ahead
5. Person with high credibility
6. Building a solid value system
Elsewhere on the web I found a few articles, links to which are provided below:
One person, one moment, a lifetime of change
In this post Jonathan Fields interviews Milton Glaser who was inspired by one act by an effective leader.
Confronting your fears
Darren Rowse talks about three questions to ask when you are faced with fear in ProBlogger.net.
In the post, two statements really stood out for me, and they are:
* Fear is a signal that something important is about to happen.
* Courage is courage – even if you have just a little bit of it.
Other related readings:
The following four links also provide useful tips for understanding and developing inspirational leadership qualities:
Do share your experiences and insights using the comments section below.
Image: (c) commons.wikimedia.org; Original uploader: Phanto282