Recently, we stumbled across this article on the Harvard Business Review blog. The post emphasizes the value placed on inspirational leadership, what inspiring leaders do, and how they do it. We certainly don’t want to give too much away and spoil the article — but we do have some questions, and we hope other readers would agree!
At the end of the piece, the authors start to go in a very interesting direction: can leaders become more inspirational through effort and self-improvement? Is the capacity to be inspirational an innate or learned trait? Their research suggests that it can be the latter: in a focus group of 310 executives who attempted to improve their inspirational abilities, they collectively moved “from the 42nd percentile (that is, below average) to the 70th percentile.”
Positive news, certainly – but what has provoked our curiosity is the conclusion of the article, which, in referring to improvement in inspirational abilities, says: “This is a statistically significant positive gain, and compelling evidence that when leaders use the right approach they can learn to become more inspiring. In other words, with awareness, good feedback, and a plan of development, leaders are able to improve this most important of all leadership competencies.”
This made us wonder: what is that “right approach?” What exactly did these leaders do to become more inspiring – what areas did they alter, how did they change their approach, and what did their ‘plan of development’ entail?
As ever, Tipping the Scales would like to know what you think. In your opinion, how does someone become more inspirational? What has to change?