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6 Ways Leaders Can Truly Inspire Their Team (& 4 Ways They Won't!) [Infographic]

6 Ways Leaders Can Truly Inspire Their Team (& 4 Ways They Won't!) [Infographic] Blog Feature

Carolyn Edgecomb

Talent & Office Manager, 7+ Years of Logistics and New Hire Management

September 15th, 2018 min read

How would you describe a good leader?

Keep in mind, being a leader doesn’t always mean that person is a manager.

Some traits that immediately come to mind might be: trustworthy (and trusting), self-aware, good listener, and centeredness.

While all of those seem positive, there are also some negative traits that can come to mind. In fact, there is a stigma that leaders need to be forceful -- but that’s not true.

In today’s workplace, in order for leaders and their teams to be successful, there’s no room for negative traits and energy in the workplace.

Did you know… 65% of employees would rather have their boss fired than get a raise?

That tells you a thing or two about the quality of leaders out there today.

To help combat thoughts like this, at IMPACT, we practice inbound leadership.

Inbound leadership is about leading with a “how can I help” mentality and playing a role that ensures everyone on the team is successful. It’s about being a coach and teacher.

With that being said, how effective and inspirational is your company's leadership?

In this infographic from InitiativeOne, they’ve identified what it takes to be a leader that truly inspires your team and it’s very much in line with our thoughts on inbound leadership.

Here are 3 of the 6 that I found most intriguing:

1. Value the Input of Everyone on the Team

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ”there’s no I in team.” It’s extremely important to collaborate with everyone on the team.

Even though you’re a leader, you should be actively receiving feedback from your team that will allow you to determine and adjust goals and priorities and improve your effectiveness.

In order for you to effectively collaborate and value your team’s input, you need to be an active listener.

If you’re trying to work on your listening skills, here’s some advice from our COO, Chris Duprey.

“I use three different colored pens as a way to remind me to listen…

Blue equals my own thoughts and notes. This is probably because blue is my favorite color and I naturally pick it up if given a choice.  When I am speaking I hold my blue pen.

Red is the color of tasks.  All tasks or to-dos that come out of a meeting are recorded in red.  

Now on to Green - the most important pen I have.  When I am in a meeting with our team, our partners, or a client I use my green pen to takes notes based on what others are saying. By holding my green pen, I make it a point to myself to remember I am in listening mode. I need to listen and really absorb what others are saying so that I can understand their point of view and show them the respect that true team's (and any relationship for that matter) are built upon.

If what’s said makes me think of something, I transition to my blue pen to ensure that I capture the thought as mine.”

2. Care as Much About People as Business

While growing and making sure your company is successful is important, you need to remember that your company probably wouldn’t be where it is today without all of your team’s hard work.

When you take better care of your employees and team members, they’ll take better care of the business and their clients.

Only about 33% of U.S. workers are engaged, but knowing you care about them, your employees are likely to be.

At IMPACT, being transparent is a great way for employees to know exactly how the company is doing and how they can help.

Some ways that we’re transparent is by showcasing our financials during monthly all-hands meetings, sharing our leadership teams meeting notes, as well as showing how we figure out compensation and what it takes for team members to move up in the company.

3. Develop Others

Everyone on your team is a cog in the wheel that’s helping to move your company towards reaching their goals.

Continuing to grow wouldn’t be possible if everyone had the mentality of sink or swim.

Helping team members is essential. This is why leaders should be coaches, teachers, and mentors.

Think about how you got where you are. It’s probably due to the help and guidance of a mentor.

Also, consider holding weekly trainings with your team around changes in the industry, new processes, as well as building their job and leadership skills.

Not only will your team be more successful, but so will your company as a whole.

But, Are You Killing Your Team's Motivation?

I’m sure you’ve worked somewhere at one point and time and had a leader who actually killed your team's motivation. While their intent might have been positive, the approach could be having a negative effect.

According to Gallup's, State of the American Workplace, “Employees who are actively disengaged have the opposite effect on their organization’s prosperity and growth. They are more likely to steal from their company, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays and drive customers away. Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity.”

Knowing that you might be killing your team’s motivation can be a tough pill to swallow, but, here are 3 (out of 4) key factors shared in the infographic that can cause your team to spiral downwards.

1. Being Negative

The quickest way to bring down your team and make them extremely unproductive is by being negative.

People feed off the energy of the people around them, especially their leaders.

If you’re routinely negative, I’m sure your team is feeling it too and this can lead to a higher turnover rate.

Negativity can be costly for your company.

According to Gallup, “disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. In organizations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time.”

2. Micro-managing

As we mentioned above, one of the key traits all leaders should have is being trusting. While many say that trust is earned, that’s not always the case. You should be able to trust everyone on your team to do their job until they do something to lose that trust.

Being trusting, allows you to give your team space to manage themselves without you having to stand over their shoulder.

3. Lacking Clarity Around Your Team’s Vision and Goals

Everyone at your company should be on the same when it comes to your team’s vision and goals. If you lack clarity or aren’t able to get everyone on your team bought in, attaining those goals will continue to be an uphill battle.

Want to learn more about how you can inspire your team to be top performers? Check out the full infographic below.


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