Claudio Feser suggests that the basis of inspirational leadership is to have a strong focus on the goal to be achieved, to influence people in such as way that they are committed towards a course of action, and to encourage and support them to take ownership for their actions.

Goleman et al define the competency of inspirational leadership in a very similar way, as:

"..the ability to inspire and guide people to get the job done, and to bring out their best.  With inspiration, you can articulate a shared mission in a way that motivates and offer a sense of common purpose beyond people's day-to-day tasks."

In essence then inspirational leadership involves:

  1. Articulating a vision, mission or purpose - sharing it and keeping it alive.  This should be something that we and our leadership team care passionately about.  Understanding and believing in why we are doing something is a great motivator.
  2. Engaging with the heart as well as with the head.  Truly connecting with ourselves and with others will uncover powerful sources of influence.  This is why emotional intelligence is such an important competence.
  3. Developing ones' own as well as others' skill as inspirational leaders.  Inspirational leaders combine underlying potential, with best practice development opportunities and support from a quality mentor.

You can learn more about this topic through our Transition to Leadership course, and in these blogs:


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