I’m on the board of directors for Leadership Napa Valley and recently volunteered to write a short monthly article on leadership for the local paper. As I began to write I realized there was a bit more to say than the space in the paper allowed for, so I thought I would expand on the topic here.
This time of year, individuals and organizations commonly take stock of the prior year and plan for the year to come. I am no different. One thing I’ve noted is my need to get out of the trenches, or out from in front of my computer, and spend more time inspiring others.
Over the past year, I have had to enlist the help of others in order to deliver on the commitments I have made to my clients. It may seem counterintuitive, but the most successful experiences I have had with adding staff did not start with giving them a to-do list, rather, giving them the reasons I do what I do and showing them my vision of how things can be.
It has been my experience that if enlisted in the vision and given the necessary tools, people will oftentimes rise above any expectations they or I may have. It becomes my job to keep the vision clear, remove obstacles and support them in any way I can. In order to do this effectively, I need to remind myself to regularly get out of the trenches and inspire.
Leadership—the art of inspiring people to make something phenomenal happen. (Tweet That)
I’ve held many managerial roles, lead organizations, taught classes and even had some children to experiment with and one thing that has been consistent through all of those different roles is that my least effective leadership came when I was telling people what they had to do.
Success came far more often when I focused on inspiring people to want to do something. A key part of this has been cultivating my own desire to help others and see them have success. When others sense that you want to help them, they in turn want to help you and are left inspired.
Who has inspired you lately? Better yet, who have you inspired lately?
Thanks for your post. I have started to hire collaborators, and my first idea was telling them exactly what to do and how. At the same time, I was having the inner impression that that was not going to work (that way). Neither working if I gave them a lot of “freedom”, as they may not know how to do it. If looking for excellence, it seems a better way, as you say, sharing a vision on how to do it and cultivate the desire to help others. Very inspiring.