One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is to get results from the team. The leader may have great ideas, a lot of hustle and successes in their past, but by definition, a leader takes a team from point A to point B—whatever those two may be. So, what does it take to inspire a team and get them moving in the desired direction?
In order for the leader to inspire the team, he/she needs to be inspired. The word inspire means to breathe life into another.
Consider the way the sail on a sailboat waits to be filled with air. No wind: the boat doesn’t move. A little wind: the boat meanders along. Too much wind, and the whole thing capsizes. Then there is the sweet spot: The sail is full of wind, the boat heels just enough to generate a thrill and excitement, and the sailboat takes off. The leader’s job is to figure out how to get the perfect amount of wind in the sails of the team. There is thrill, excitement, and movement in the desired direction. That’s what it looks like to inspire.
A leader can’t put any wind into the sails if he/she doesn’t have any. The Cauldron Theory says that you cannot pour water from your glass into another’s if your glass is empty. Meaning, a leader cannot put wind in the sails of a team—inspire the team—if he/she doesn’t have any wind in their own sails. A leader needs to make sure that they are inspired.
Here’s what I recommend a leader does to stay inspired:
- Write your own goals.
- Gain extreme clarity on what the “why” is behind your goals. This is a more powerful driver than “I have to.” The why creates the want to.
The leader is responsible to make sure they are inspired and that they are inspiring others. Results will show up when a team is inspired and on course. An additional outcome of an inspired team is that they often bring about results above their current performance level. They unleash more of their potential! That’s great leadership.
So, get out there and find your inspiration. Commit to your goals and gain clarity on why they matter. Then turn and inspire those whom you lead. I bet the results you see from the people on your team will end up putting a little wind in your own sail.