How to Be an Inspiring Leader by Carol Richards

It’s an interesting moment in your career when for the first time you hear someone call YOU an “inspiring leader”.  I always regarded others as the inspiration, never me.  I’ve had the opportunity, throughout my career, to work with colleagues that have truly inspired me…and without knowing it….I had been absorbing their qualities, behaviours and attitudes until one day, someone else saw in me, what I had seen and respected in others.  For me, it is the biggest compliment and moment of pride but also a point of reflection that the skills we need are all around us, constantly being absorbed and not necessarily something which came from leadership books, assessments or training programs.   Rather shockingly for many, I have never read a leadership book in my life.

As I think about those qualities I’ve seen in others, I think of their style of communication (frequent, concise and transparent), their respect for all levels and roles and a strong passion to develop their people.  They are an enabler of success (they do not need to be the point of success), they are not afraid to be “hands on” if the moment requires it, they are pragmatic and logical thinkers, results-orientated, calm and balanced even in moments of high stress and tension…and most importantly….collaborative, motivational, supportive.  Finally, humour goes a long way in building successful teams and developing great relationships with your teams and colleagues.   Don’t be afraid to be funny from time to time.

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