Leadership Spokane is committed to the truism that leaders always learn. This week, our adult class will hone on Human Needs in our community and how empathy can help others. Next week’s blog will highlight how critical putting yourself in someone’s shoes is. This week, however, as winter rolls on with no end in sight, I felt it important to remind leaders how important it is for leaders to inspire no matter how dark the night.
Indeed, I myself need a pick me up with all our freezing weather, potholes and other challenges holding us down. I have to remind myself what financial expert financial guru, Suze Orman said for the secret behind her success. “You cannot inspire, she said, unless you’re inspired yourself.” Peter Handal, chief executive of New York City-based Dale Carnegie Training, a leadership-training company believes: "Our research indicates that what really matters is that leaders are able to create enthusiasm, empower their people, instill confidence and be inspiring to the people around them.” If leaders don’t inspire, who would be expected to be the inspiration?
Blogger Jeffrey Moore in a July 2014 blog directly addresses the five benefits of inspiring…it leads to creativity, it allows goal achieving, it boosts self-satisfaction, it increases motivation, and finally it leads to a feelings of purpose. All five of these results by themselves would improve output…taken together, inspiration fuels passion which fuels accomplishment. A leader’s vision is needed to chart the road-map, a leader’s gumption keeps a team on course and inspiration speeds the journey along, exponentially.
Notably, leaders can find inspiration in the most unusual of places. A leader’s job is to find them and share them with his or her team. For example, this past week, I listened to an incredible presentation on the war on cancer by our local doctors. It was exhilarating to hear the incredible accomplishments and strides we are taking nationally to finally beat what Ken Burns called the emperor of all maladies. The issue hits close to home for my family as my sister in law has battled cancer for five years and is courageously going through difficult stem cell treatment. To inspire his mom, my nephew, Josh, shaved his head Friday to make her feel in kinship. I can only imagine the smile and strength he gave his mom this weekend. Josh is a leader stepping out for his mom. Josh inspires not only his mom, he inspires me and he inspires everyone around him. No matter how cold the winter, how dark the night, leaders carry the torch of inspiration. They always have and always will.
Famous American poet Dylan Thomas wrote the poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into The Good Night.” That is what leaders do—they fight, and if they are servant leaders, they fight for others. “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Leaders must never forget to fight for right and always, always inspire.
A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach her potential. ~ John C. Maxwell