Who doesn’t love working for an inspiring leader? You know, the type of leader we all hear about, quote and celebrate. The type of leader that inspires you to take action, one that creates a compelling vision and a culture of inspired energy. An energy where collaboration, communication, constructive challenging and support aren’t just talked about but part of the fabric. A culture where people are achieving and having fun.

I’ve worked for and with some Inspiring Leaders and they make a difference to the whole organisation. There is a ripple effect beyond their direct team, beyond the organisation to clients and suppliers. They create a culture where people are truly connected to the vision, know how they contribute and are fully engaged. An environment where there’s more energy, creativity, innovation and discretionary effort.

Gallup’s research has shown that managers account for 70% of variance in employee engagement.

Below are 17 tips to be a more inspiring leader in 2017. These tips have been collated from thousands of cups of coffee with leaders, (yes I love a flat white), hundreds of coaching sessions and leadership workshops.

You may do some of these now, some may be reminders and others may be some new ideas to try. Make 2017 your year to be a more inspiring leader.

17 tips to be a more Inspiring Leader in 2017! (in no order)

  1. Create a regular space for you and your team to pause without distractions for reflection, ideation and discussion with your team. When could you create this space for your team to solve problems and be more agile to customer needs?
  2. Adopt a strengths-based leadership focus – leading through your own strengths, embrace the diversity and value of the strengths of your team. What strengths in your team could you leverage?
  3. Re-energise your meetings to make them more effective. Ineffective meetings are one of the biggest banes of existence for employees. Why? Because they are generally poorly run, with no purpose. Make your meetings shorter (stand-up meetings!) Get clarity on who should be there, the why, have a clear purpose and actions. Be prepared to not charge through the meeting and take time to get alignment on purpose. Make them valuable and fun while you are at it! Do your meetings have a clear purpose?
  4. Embrace being a team member, not just a leader – leading. Be an effective team member through supporting your peers and demonstrating active followership. How could you support your fellow leaders more?
  5. One of the biggest issues in organisations is the absence of clarity. Be inspiring through providing clarity to your team members on expectations and how they contribute to the vision. Where is a lack of clarity causing confusion or frustration?
  6. Recognise and celebrate the little wins, not just the big ones. Take time to recognise the effort, the people involved, their contribution to keep the momentum. Who could you recognise tomorrow, this week, right now?
  7. Let go of the past! The past is the past, be aware of your frames that are hindering your leadership and the team. The past is a place of reference not residence, learn from it and move forward. What are you willing to let go of for your success?
  8. Make failing ok. Let people fail intelligently and quickly, learn from their experiences, share their learnings and apply them. Where can you increase problem solving and innovation through more intelligent failing?
  9. Send less emails, it’s estimated by Radicati Group, that almost 2.4 million emails are sent every second! Be conscious of who you are emailing, why you are emailing them and stop cc’ing everyone “just in case, they need to know”. Where could you replace an email with a phone call or a conversation?
  10. Know how you prepare for work impacts how you lead. What does this mean? Get quality sleep every night (no devices for 30 minutes before bed), be conscious of what you’re eating & drinking (drink less coffee & more water), move your body (get 20 mins of exercise every day). What is your morning success routine?
  11. Follow you gut, your gastrointestinal tract has over 70% of your neurotransmitters and can help guide your decision-making both personally and professionally in all that you do. Where could you tune into your instinct more?
  12. Have the conversations you’re avoiding. Inspiring managers take action, don’t let things drag on, provide constructive feedback and coach their team members. What conversation are you avoiding?
  13. Be vulnerable. Vulnerability builds trust and trust is the foundation for effective teams. This is not telling your life story to everyone. This is being open, real, honest, authentic. Not knowing all the answers and being ok with that. Who could you be more open with?
  14. Be present. Put down the phone, stop being distracted, listen, make eye contact, stop looking at your pc when people are talking to you. If you’re in a meeting, are you really in the meeting? Simple and powerful. When could you be more present?
  15. Collaborate and delegate more – Give people the chance to do what they do best everyday through collaboration, using their strengths, sharing their knowledge and applying their skills.
  16. Be aware of how you show up! Your energy leads your interactions before you even speak, without you even realising. Your energy influences your body language and facial expressions. Smile more – it’s contagious! The mirror neurons of others will fire!
  17. Get a coach – everyone needs a coach. Leadership can be lonely. A coach is there to support, challenge, hold you accountable and help you be the best leader you can be. Who is your coach?

“Inspired Leaders create a positive energy, that drive you feel in your whole being when you interact with someone who inspires you, be inspired & inspire others”

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