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Leadership Today - Practical Tips For Leaders

Sep 23, 2022


Motivation is great, but only if people are motivated in the same direction. That’s where Inspiring comes in.



Welcome to episode 156 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we bring research to life in your leadership. 

Today we are continuing our series on essential leadership practices. Last time around we looked at Reflecting. This time we’re focusing on the leadership practice of Inspiring. 

A leader’s role is to achieve results through people. The mechanism for doing this is aligned motivation. Importantly, there’s no point having one without the other.

Aligned people who aren’t motivated are clear about where we are headed, but just don’t care or can’t be bothered getting there.

Motivated people who aren’t aligned might be keen and active, but are often working in different directions and cross purposes.

What we need is both - for people to be aligned and motivated.

Inspiring is about taking our vision and plans, and translating them into what matters to people. The focus of Inspiring is on others’ needs and interests, and not on ourselves.

To do that we need to know what interests and motivates our people. The best way to find this out is through conversation. Get to know people - not just who they are at work, but who they are as a whole human being. That allows us to communicate the vision behind the work we do - why what we do matters in the content of their needs and interests. This helps us to align people to that vision around their interests and motivations. We can ensure that roles that are defined in the context of the vision - that there is a clear link back to the vision in all of the work that we do.

Inspiring as a leadership practice is particularly helpful when we have a new vision to communicate. It’s also useful when there have been failures and setbacks that have negatively impacted motivation. Change and uncertainty can result in people becoming mis-aligned with the broader purpose and vision, so Inspiring can be helpful here as well. As a leadership practice, Inspiring is not needed as much when things are stable, and the team is performing well - they’re already aligned and motivated.

Over the next few weeks we will explore four other effective leadership practices. It’s a great time to complete our brand new Leadership Practices Assessment. It’s completely free, and you will find a link to it in the show notes. Have a great week.

Access the Leadership Practices Assessment -