Signature Leaders Blog
Reminders to Inspire

Inspirational Leadership Is in Short Supply

Posted by Carol Seymour on Jul 25, 2017 12:32:29 PM
Carol Seymour


… And yet, it is the key to helping others stay engaged. 

I recently read the latest report from Gallup, and the numbers seem to stay the same when it comes to employee engagement… literally 70% of workers are not engaged. As leaders, we have the challenge of engaging our people, and yet, that is hard when 43% of employees work remotely and almost 84% of our employees are matrixed. 

I just finished Kristi Hedges’ newest book, The Inspiration Code. It is fabulous. 

The beauty and the impact of the book is Kristi’s ability to offer key learnings in small bites. Kristi did some major research on the topic of what inspires people, and here are two nuggets that I particularly loved from her book:


#1 People are inspired by conversations that count. These are the words at the right time and with honest and caring intention. The person saying the words might not even know they inspired the other! One of the best conversations to have is one where you call attention to someone’s potential. These conversations are about the person, not the job. It covers “what is possible.” It’s an easy thing to do, and with sincerity, can unleash a person’s ability to not only perform better, but become much more engaged and excited about their role.

Think about it: when someone tells you they think highly of you, or that you have the potential to move into a next big position, don’t you walk with a new bounce and then rise to the occasion?

#2 People want to be heard. In Kristi’s research, 50% of her study respondents stated that the most inspirational behavior was not speaking, but listening. We cover the Power of Presence at Signature Leaders, and we know that presence is a learned trait. Ensuring you are present during the conversation certainly begins with removing the outside distractions like smart phones, computers, and other people. But, it means both eyes and both ears are in the conversation. Your body language shows you are taking in the other’s words, and you are acknowledging those words. And as Kristi tells us, the impact of being fully present while listening can be inspirational to those we interact with.

I’m going to add one from my own experience:

#3 People feel impact in the power of simple acts. I wrote a blog last year called, “Leadership, as simple as tennis balls and batteries,” which explores how leadership is about simple acts you can do for your team. Making them feel valued, providing the tools to do the job, or even just giving a few encouraging words at the right moment are the little things that we can provide as leaders. And they all make a big impact. You can read the rest of the blog here.

You are a leader. It’s much more fun to be an inspirational one, and that may take some intentionality, but the outcomes are worth the effort.

So take the time to implement some of the ideas from this blog, or you can read Kristi’s book… I’m on my second go-round!

Share what your leaders have done to inspire you!

Topics: Leadership, Developing People, Presence

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