50 Ways a Leader Inspires Others

Recently, we heard about a series of books and articles that find ways to accumulate “50” ways to do something. And, since we passionately believe that one of the most awesome responsibilities leaders have to accomplish is to motivate and inspire their people, we thought we would see if we could salute and acknowledge some of the ways we currently see our clients inspiring and motivating others.

50 ways a leader inspires others:

  1. They remember an anniversary, a date a person started with the organization or got promoted. They call the person and tell them why they matter.
  2. They send a birthday card and thank them for being part of the team.
  3. They send an article of something the person might find interesting.
  4. They blog about the person, sharing with others the things they appreciate about them.
  5. They develop a promotional road map for their people that shows they believe they can and will do more.
  6. They ask their people for feedback on how their performance can improve, not just telling others how to get better. They seek how their own performance can improve.
  7. They take a risk and sponsor someone who needs support, and they go out of their way to champion for the person.
  8. They mentor others.
  9. They take their team to a shelter to volunteer, knowing there is more to work than just work. They want to role model doing good for others.
  10. They let them go early when a child is sick or an aging parent needs help.
  11. They make their people take vacation.
  12. They take a vacation and truly take a vacation, so their people can miss them and discover their own ability to solve problems on their own. They do not email and call when they are on their vacation. 
  13. They ask how the weekend was and truly wait to hear the answer.
  14. They speak to and acknowledge everyone from the newly hired assistant to the president of the company. 
  15. They are kind when they ask someone to do something, knowing honey goes down smother than vinegar.
  16. They admit when they are wrong.
  17. They apologize when they have hurt someone. 
  18. They take responsibility for the bad and the good.
  19. They dole out praise in public and counseling in private.
  20. They nip gossip in the bud by asking, “have you shared this with the person?”
  21. They coach more than they direct
  22. They show people trust by delegating responsibility.
  23. People feel empowered working for them.
  24. They are always looking for talented people.
  25. They believe in learning and training–not just for their people but for themselves.
  26. They remain curious.
  27. They are calm in a crisis, offering wisdom and clarity and direction for others.
  28. They do not have all the answers, remaining open to better ideas.
  29. They have a strong vision that others clearly embrace and support.
  30. They set clear direction.
  31. They are compassionate.
  32. They remain hopeful in the face of adversity.
  33. They are trustworthy.
  34. They are innovative and creative problem solvers.
  35. They are teachers and learn from those they teach.
  36. They hire talent that complements not those who look just like them. 
  37. They think team first and individual glory secondly.
  38. They are known for integrity and honesty and doing the right thing.
  39. They spend more time listening than telling.
  40. They tell stories that people can relate to.
  41. They are humble.
  42. They let vulnerabilties show, comfortable enough in their own skin. 
  43. They defend those they lead, not to a fault, but to good reason. 
  44. They are not afraid to hire someone smarter.
  45. They brag about those they promote. 
  46. They find the resources their teams need to perform at their best.
  47. They do not hide from the truth.
  48. They can tell a great joke.
  49. They have a great sense of humor.
  50. They let you know they love you even if they never say the words.

What would you add to this list? How do you inspire those that work for you?