You make a difference by helping others make a difference.
Stop fixing. If your passion for excellence and success drives you to constantly fix people, stop fixing. Do you think people are inspired by being fixed? I don’t think so.
Express unrequested good. Rather than fixing all the time, inspire others by looking them in the eye and quietly saying something good about them.
When was the last time you said a good word? No fanfare, no expectations, no manipulation, just said it. For an added kick, leave them slack-jawed by walking away when you’re done. Tell them you believe in them and then stop talking. Shhh! Silence drives the point home.
Support success – don’t punish it. Some years back I wrote a grant. Sadly, the result was longer hours and work on weekends. At the same time, my regular responsibilities suffered. In that situation, the more I did the more I had to do and the less I did well. For someone with a passion to succeed, it was a frustrating downward spiral. I finally went to my boss and had grant writing removed from my responsibilities. Imagine the uninspired awkwardness of shifting from a “can do” to a “won’t do” orientation.
Be predictable. Your people are hamstrung when your unpredictable behaviors create egg-shell environments. The only thing unpredictability creates is fear and self-protection, a waste of emotional energy.
Reject conformity. In my opinion, “professional conformity” makes hypocrites of most. It requires you to replace the real you with a fake “professional” you. In addition, demanding that everyone dress and act “professionally” is a ploy that creates conformity, establishes control, and drains inspiration. People aren’t made with cookie cutters. Conformity doesn’t inspire.
How can leaders inspire others to make a difference?
If you liked this article, I think you’ll enjoy this popular post: “Finding the Sweet Spot.”