HomeLeadership LearningsInspirational leadership: key to success in today’s fast-paced work environment?

Inspirational leadership: key to success in today's fast-paced work environment?

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Inspirational leadership can unlock the potential of teams in the fast-paced work environment of today

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Inspirational leaders can transform organizations. Their ability to motivate colleagues with compelling visions of the future means everyone becomes laser-focused on their goals.

This helps create a positive work culture that encourages creativity and promotes teamwork, according to Ben Walden founding partner & director of Olivier Mythodrama.

“They have a clear understanding of the needs and aspirations of their team and are able to communicate their vision in a way that resonates with them,” he explained.

A motivated workforce is also more likely to push themselves to achieve success – and this mindset can only be good news for the entire organization. “Inspirational leaders encourage creativity and innovation within their teams,” added Walden. “This leads to new ideas, products, and services that help the company stay ahead of the competition.”

Such skills come to the fore in the good times and the bad. When life is going well, their drive helps ensure the company will continue to grow and thrive. And in the dark days, they can create a sense of unity, bringing together those who may feel isolated and disconnected. There is no better recent example of this than the Covid-19 lockdowns.

“They demonstrate courage, resilience, and determination,” said Walden. “This can be especially important in times of crisis when people may be feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.”

Such leaders can be found in any successful organization, whether its focus is on building corporate profits, running charitable enterprises, or meeting healthcare needs. “They encourage creativity, innovation, and risk-taking, which leads to growth and success for the organization,” explained Walden.

An inspired leader at the helm is particularly crucial in today’s fast-paced and rapidly changing work, where employees are looking for more than a decent salary. Being part of a team that is working towards something meaningful, in a company with a clear sense of purpose and authentic values, are just as important.

“When employees feel inspired and motivated, they are more likely to be engaged in their work, which leads to higher levels of productivity and better business outcomes,” added Walden.

As a bonus, this environment enables organizations to retain talent, which is particularly important when competition to recruit outstanding employees is fierce.

Olivier Mythodrama often refers to the plays of William Shakespeare when it is looking for examples of passionate, inspirational leadership. One such character is Henry V, who the wordsmith portrayed as a charismatic leader with the ability to inspire others to support his cause.

“Henry had a clear and compelling vision that he communicated to those around him,” said Walden. “He inspired others to believe in – and work towards – his vision.” The qualities he displayed, particularly communicating in a clear way and displaying emotional intelligence, can be found in many inspirational leaders.

Unfortunately, these skills are often underestimated as they’re not part of the academic curriculum, pointed out Walden, even though they can change lives and create fulfilling careers.

“Many of the leadership skills that feature in historic stories are neglected in the modern business world,” he said. “That’s why we run a whole program that is purely about public speaking and networking.”

While it is easy to focus on the benefits of inspirational leadership, it is important not to overlook the potential dangers of not embracing this style.

For example, it can lead to a widespread lack of motivation among employees, who risk becoming emotionally detached from their work. A sharp decline in productivity and quality often follows.

Poor communication and a lack of innovation are other characteristics of a negative workplace culture, and both can be contagious.

Dissatisfied employees who don’t feel inspired or supported by the management will leave for forward-focused rivals that willingly adapt to changing market conditions. Fortunately, companies can develop inspirational leadership styles within their organizations, irrespective of the industries in which they work.

The first step is setting out a clear vision that inspires and guides employees. This requires a culture of trust and transparency that empowers employees to be innovative. “This involves fostering an environment where people feel safe to speak up and share their ideas without fear of retribution,” explained Walden.

Investing in employee development, encouraging collaboration, and leading by example are other essential elements in creating the right backdrop. “Leaders must be able to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of those around them, in order to build strong relationships and achieve their goals,” said Walden.

Success must also be celebrated. Recognizing achievements and rewarding hard work can inspire employees to continue focusing on their goals.

“Inspirational leaders lead by example, modelling the behaviour they want to see in their employees,” added Walden. “This includes being passionate about the company’s mission and values, being willing to take risks, and being open to feedback and criticism.”

Olivier Mythodrama will be hosting two, free leadership workshops, one in San Francisco on 6 June and one in Atlanta on 13 June. Register now.

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