Soon after Greg and I married, we headed to Modesto, CA for a teaching role Greg had been offered. Teaching, having his own classroom, & getting to know the kids was really enjoyable! However, the school principal was really difficult and uninspiring.He lead the school with and iron fist and left the staff continually discouraged.
Since that time we have worked with and for many different types of leaders; we’ve learned a great deal. Under certain types of leaders we have flourished, under others we’ve have experienced discouragement. Leaders can vary from person to person.
Not too long ago we started our own company and had to ask ourselves the question “what would it be like to work for us?”. What kind of leader caused us to feel inspired and purpose filled? What kind of leader left us discouraged? How can we take our experiences with leaders and do our best to build a strong, vibrant team?
In a recent article by Geoffrey James, he gives a quick list of the traits of inspiring leaders, and the traits of uninspiring leaders:
Inspiring leaders are motivated by helping their team to be successful. Uninspiring leaders are motivated by their own personal satisfaction.
Inspiring leaders feel an obligation to “give back” to their team and the community. Uninspiring leaders feel no real obligation to “give back”; rather their focus is on having more money/buying physical objects.
Inspiring leaders are grateful people; they appreciate the opportunities they have and the people who have worked alongside them. Uninspiring leaders are fairly self-satisfied. They secretly believe their success is a natural result of their clever, smart work.
Inspiring leaders are people of deep convictions. They don’t necessarily wear them on their sleeve, but their beliefs affect everything they say and do. Uninspiring leaders are opinionated about what they believe and expect others to adopt their beliefs as well.
Inspiring leaders care about people. They look for ways to impact those in challenging circumstances. Uninspiring leaders have a tendency to find people challenging, even irritating.
Inspiring leaders share the credit, uninspiring leaders spread the blame.
Most inspiring leaders have many, if not all, of these traits.
Do you lead a team (or a family)? What kind of leader are you? Do you inspire others? Does your leadership style cause your team to say “Gee, I’m sure glad I work here!” Aspire to be a leader others want to follow. 🙂