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5 Attributes of an Inspiring Leader

We all know that people are likely to leave companies if their bosses are horrible, but according to Harvard Business Review, they are more likely to leave because their job isn’t enjoyable, their strengths aren’t being used, and they aren’t growing in their careers. 

Through our experience hiring top-level talent, we’ve developed a deep understanding of what makes people stay and succeed and it has a lot to do with the type of encouraging leaders who care about their people, know their strengths, help them grow and inspire their best work. The results are engaged and committed employees, productive teams, and impressive results.

Here are five game-changing attributes that all leaders need to cultivate, to go from good to inspiring.   

  1. Self-awareness: Leaders can show up with authenticity when they know and understand themselves, their motivations, strengths, weaknesses, blind spots, how they impact others, and why they do the things they do. Armed with the insights into their own growth opportunities, they’re in a better position to see others and appreciate their individual journeys, and to find opportunities to help them develop and flourish.


  1. Curiosity: Curious leaders care about their people and are intentional in getting to know them. This allows them to connect and build relationships based on trust, the foundation for building a committed and productive team. Inspiring leaders are coaches. They create leaders, not followers, by listening and asking questions to seek clarity and help people find answers for themselves.


  1. Direct and clear: Inspiring leaders step up to the conversation, whether it’s giving people well-earned appreciation or providing hard-to-hear feedback. Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor, says: “Radical candor is at the intersection of caring personally and challenging directly.” Clear communication is kind—not having the conversation robs a person of the opportunity to grow.


  1. Emotionally courageous: Emotionally courageous leaders face their fears, act boldly, and lead with confidence. Peter Bregman’s central premise in his book, Leading with Emotional Courage, is “if you are willing to feel everything you can do anything.” The hard stuff gets avoided because we don’t want to feel (uncertain, exposed, embarrassed, disappointment, anger—name your emotion). Great leadership takes the risk and endures the uncertainty, ambiguity, and vulnerability that comes along with it.


  1. Accountability: Inspiring leaders walk their talk, live their values, and admit their mistakes. They are accountable to themselves and to others. They give credit where it is due, have their employees’ backs and own the results for better or worse. An accountable leader is a role model that people want to follow and emulate.


Ready to become and inspiring leader?

Join us for our breakfast Leader Lounge event on Thursday, April 4th, 2019. We'll focus on the five game-changing attributes that will help you level-up your leadership skills and skyrocket from “great” to “inspiring”.

Register today. 

Register for the 5 Attributes of an Inspiring Leader


Jody King

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