Can you explain why some leaders and organizations inspire others? Is there a secret, or is it something people are born to do?
Think of those leaders in your life, in history, and yourself. How have they inspired? What makes them stand out? Why do people want to follow them?
Inspiration comes in different forms and many faces. It is something that makes someone want to do something. It stirs deep emotion in others as they influence, spark ideas, moves them to innovation and creativity—a good idea or cause to make changes fuels the influence.
Some leaders in our history became great because of how they persevered to overcome circumstances to achieve extraordinary things. There is one leader I have admired since my childhood. I learned about him in my classroom, and his words moved me. I still am influenced by his wisdom.
“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Dr. Martin Luther King is just one of the leaders; in addition, I have Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, and several more throughout history. My mother is also one of my leadership influences.
My mother did not have an education, did not know how to drive, and was a stay-at-home mom. She instilled in me the ability to lead others with passion, heart, and trustworthiness. She would visit with all of the neighborhood. As she would go, she would prepare things to take with her. Sometimes it would be baked goods, stuff from the garden, a plate of food, or something she knew they would need or like. She would sit and listen to their concerns and would offer any help we could do. Neighbors would come to our house as well, and it was everyone working to help each other. It did not matter who you were or how much money you had; my mother treated everyone just like family. She had a “why,” her purpose.
Simon Sinek·TEDxPuget Sound How great leaders inspire action is a great talk! He takes the time to explain the what, how, and why. Everyone can tell you what they do. If you ask, they can tell you how they do it as well. However, telling you the why can be difficult for some. Sure it could be to make a profit or get a paycheck, but that is not the why that excites the drive to influence others. The why is the difference between leaders who can inspire and influence those who manage.
Leadership is not limited to a specific type of individual but to one who can think, speak and act from the inside out. Their heart helps connect others with the passion they have in what they do that others want to do. It is how they engage others into the what and how that brings out the why in them.
I am so thankful for our historical leaders who have done fantastic work to change the actions, laws, beliefs, fought wars for our freedoms, and sacrifice even their own life to accomplish the goals they wanted to achieve. I encourage you to know what you believe, who you are, and the why that drives you. Leadership is needed!
Thank you for being part of the solution daily.