What Does It Require to be An Inspirational Team Leader?

The concept of being inspirational may feel overwhelming to some. You may associate being inspirational with icons of business like Richard Branson or monumental politicians such as Churchill or Kennedy.

But if you did the little exercise I invited you to do in the previous blog post—trying to identify team leaders who have been inspirational in your career—I'm sure you came up with a few names, even if you have not been fortunate enough to work for someone similar to Branson. Team leaders with a lot less punch than Branson can still come across as hugely inspirational.

So, is the ability to be inspirational something we are born with or is it a learned skill? Maybe a bit of both. It is probably true that for some people, this comes more naturally than to others. But there is also lots of evidence that becoming more inspirational can be learned.

It begins with awareness. Awareness precedes change.

If you can identify the gap between your current...

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Are You An Inspiring Team Leader to Work for?

Why is being an inspiration to your followers an all-important part of your team leadership? Below is a figure that illustrates how the hierarchy of employees' needs looks:

At the bottom, you have the foundational stuff. Without that being in place, you won't get basic satisfaction. This is more or less all basic management stuff that you are hopefully already doing. The next level, on the other hand, is what drives engagement and where your leadership skills start to make a difference. Finally, you have the top layer—inspiration which is driven by the style of team leadership you are providing.

As you can see in the figure, there are two aspects of inspiration. One pertains to the vision or mission of your team: Is your team trying to achieve something meaningful? The other aspect is about you: Are you the sort of person that inspires followership?

Why are all these things important?

Well, if you are the sort of persons that likes information to be...

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A Manifesto for Great Service Leadership

I believe that—

  • Customer loyalty is the key to building a great service business with growth and strong profits.
  • Marketing is not a department. It is the way we do things consistently, touch point by touch point, day after day.
  • Employee engagement drives exceptional customer experience.
  • At any level, the team leader is crucial to engagement. Most managers, including the CEO, are also team leaders—never forget that.
  • Good managers are not automatically great team leaders. Being a great team leader is a learned skill.
  • Bad leadership that is not addressed is the invisible drag that slows growth and profits.
  • Bad team leaders represent a considerable hidden cost. They cause increased staff turnover and decreased customer satisfaction—the kiss of death in the service business.
  • Bad team leaders spend far too little effort in coaching their managers on the leadership aspect of the job. Bad team leaders assume that their managers will work it out, which is a common but...
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