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3 types of inspiring leaders (which are you?)

Monday, June 30, 2014  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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By Anne Perschel

Leaders want to inspire people, and people want to be inspired.

Companies identify inspirational leadership as an important competency for leaders and managers. Questions about inspirational leadership are often included on standardized leadership assessments.

But what, exactly, is inspirational leadership? Inspirational leaders see the tree inside the acorn.

Related: "3 ways to jumpstart your executive presence"  

There are three types of inspirational leaders. Which are you?

1. The See-er of Human Potential employs empathic seeing, for which there is no formula or training. This leader reads people in ways that most others don’t. She sees inspiration being activated when she taps a hidden talent, a hope, a dream. This leader coaxes the talent, then coaches and rewards when it’s used.

2. The Brilliant Visionary puts his vision on display so that all can see it. People follow this leader because they aspire to be part of her vision. This type of inspiration stems from brilliance, innovation, creativity, courage, fortitude and boundless energy. Think Steve Jobs.

3. The Victorious Strategist develops winning strategies and overcomes tremendous challenges to achieve success. Her ability to do so inspires others to do the same, and so they follow her. They see a path to victory, where others don’t, and they create the road map for everyone to get there. Think Supreme Allied Commander (and President) Dwight Eisenhower.

Which type of inspirational leader are you? Be honest. If you are not exhibiting these qualities you are probably not an inspirational leader (yet).

  • Do you see untapped human potential? Will you collaborate with others to create the vision and develop the strategy, because these are not the areas in which you shine? Is it your greatest pleasure to see an employee advance?

  • Do you have a brilliant vision? Can you paint it so that others will follow? Do you have the courage and fortitude to persevere no matter what naysayers say? Do you learn, regain your balance, and plow forward after mistakes cause you to fall and stumble?

  • Are you a strategy genius? Do you have a winning record? Have you overcome challenges and led others to do the same?

Most successful leaders I’ve worked with are hybrids. They are typically strong in one of the three inspirations. They succeed by honing that strength and building competence in the other two.

Dr. Anne Perschel is a leadership psychologist with Germane Consulting and co-founder and chief inspiration officer at 3Plus International, a career lab for high achieving and high potential women.

Views expressed in signed blogs and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and sponsors.

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