Leadership…the art of Inspiring self
Who motivates the motivator? How does one who daily motivates others stay motivated? Being at the top can get lonely sometimes.
As a leader, everyone is constantly looking to you for guidance, support and direction. Leading can be stressful. There is no way to avoid the constant challenges of being responsible for people, outcomes, and uncertainties in the environment. It can be daunting at times when you don’t have all the answers. When the going gets tough, how does a leader stay inspired?
It’s important not to become discouraged by the level of difficulties faced. If the feelings of doubt and fear are deeply embedded, failure is just around the corner. “Apositive attitude is one of the most valuables assets a person can have in life. It can help you achieve things that may seem impossible to happen.” John C. Maxwell
My strength didn’t come from lifting weights. My strength came from lifting myself up every time I was knocked down.” -Bob Moore.
Your teams’ motivation is a direct reflection of the enthusiasm you transmit. “Great leaders don’t blame the tools they are given. They work to sharpen them.” Simon Sinek. When you are motivated, you are confident, energized and productive. However, when you are de-motivated you lose your edge.
Leadership is a dynamic process involving the leader, team, tasks and threats (organizational and external variables). At the heart of effectiveness is the leader.
7 Ways Leaders Keep Inspired
- Find a good peer group / support network. Have a mentor or someone whose leadership style you would like to emulate. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my dad. I remain inspired by the genuine depth with which he loved the people who worked with him.” -Chester Elton, Author and NY Times Best-Seller.
- “You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.” -Stan Slap, Management consultant. Are you passionately pushing forward or simply going through the motions? To be your best, you need to give serious thought to what makes you flourish and succeed. To lead others you must first start learning about yourself, how to manage yourself and demonstrate Self-Leadership.
- Be true to yourself. Work on your inner compass. What is your core purpose? What are the guiding principles? Know your values, standards and qualities that guide you. “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” –Abraham Lincoln
If you fuel your journey on the opinions of others, you are going to run out of gas.” Steve Maraboli.
- Ponder what is the real source of your inspiration? It demands that you survey your world and take a close look at what motivates your actions. Are you stimulated regularly by your inspiration? “My personal inspirations are my parents. Yes, I admit it’s a bit cliché, but their voices have been in my head for my entire life.” -David H. Stevens, President and CEO at Mortgage Bankers Association.
- Engagement – Stay connected to the people and what you are doing.Come down from the mountaintop and mix and mingle with your subordinates. “For me, however, inspiration comes from solving big, meaningful problems with people I admire and love to work with. Deep, far-reaching challenges that keep me thinking, engaged, and ultimately energized.” -Pete Flint CEO at Trulia.
- Envision the end result. “What inspires me most about being a leader is being able to see a vision over the horizon and then participating with a group of people to actually get there. When it comes to business, there is no greater reward than being able to say, we did it!” -Jerry Alderman, CEO and Founder of Valkre.
- Maintain Equilibrium – Finding balance is an ongoing process and a lifelong journey. Balance is a gift you can create for yourself; no one else can do it for you. You have to make it a priority. Some people take long runs or walks to relieve stress, while others find solace in prayer and in developing their relationship with God. Still others find relief through music, television, sporting events, and reading. A mini sabbatical to recharge may be essential. Take time to reflect on your interests and what you are passionate about. Find what helps you to restore your energy and find that sense of peace and renewal.Try to create some mental space where you can relax, turn off distractions and let yourself go. Additionally, keep in touch with those closest to you, your spouse, children, friends and extended family…etc
Furthermore, don’t try to do it alone. Build a strong team and delegate tasks to competent individuals who can make independent decisions on trivial matters. Additionally, break up goals into smaller manageable sizes. Don’t let your ego get ahead of you, thinking you can achieve the almost impossible in just one leap. Approaching tasks from this angle is a sure way to become disappointed.
One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” —Arnold Glasow
10 Inspiring Leadership Quotes
1) “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” ~Antoine de Saint–Exupery
2) “Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them.” ~ Winston Churchill
3) “Leadership shows judgment, wisdom, personal appeal and proven competence.”~ Walt Disney
4) The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” ~ Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh
5) Rule a kingdom as though you were cooking a small fish. Don’t overdo it.” ~ Lao Tse
6) “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
7) Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” ~ General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
8) “True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders.” ~ Robert Townsend
9) “The leadership instinct you were born with is the backbone. You develop thefunny bone and the wishbone that go with it.” ~ Elaine Agather
10) “He who reads is never alone.” ~ Helder Simone
As a leader, how do you keep inspired?
If you liked this post, I’d love it if you’d hit the “follow” button at the top of the page so I can continue to write and share with you on a variety of topics.