We looked at the ‘results’ leader last time, now lets take a look at the inspiring leader. I remember when I first started working in the corporate world I attended a staff meeting where a senior ranking officer was the speaker. He talked about banking; how things were changing and then he started talking about what he saw in the future for the banking industry. The more he talked, the more interested I got. He was excited, his face was animated and the things he was talking about were all new ideas to my current banking world. Some of what he talked about sounded crazy…even a bit off the wall. But I remembered what he said.
During the 25 years that followed that staff meeting, I saw almost everything he talked about come true. I saw how savings passbooks were replaced with online inquiries. I watched car loans take place in regional locations, checks no longer being kept in local branches. Now most of you reading this won’t even know what I am talking about, but this staff meeting took place before ATM’s and online banking. I watched what he talked about all come true and with each new introduction I remembered that man and the meeting. He was a visionary, he was a motivator. He talked about things in the future in such a way that I was always excited to see them come alive in my banking world. That is inspiring.
The inspiring leader has a true vision. A vision that is doable, but just out of reach. They focus on all the good aspects of the change in order to minimize the fear of change. They light the path to the future and make the journey a fun adventure. So how do you become that inspiring leader?
• Get a vision
• Make it plain
• Add details to it that make it come alive and are fun
• Combine things that are known to your audience with things that are new
• Show the path to getting to this new place, step by step
• Focus on bench marks along the way so your audience can follow you
• Talk about the benefits of moving forward
• Have fun!
Anyone can be an inspiring leader, keep two feet on the ground as you stretch their vision to look above the clouds. Make it exciting and do it with joy.