There is a silver bullet leadership competency. It is the most powerful predictor of someone being viewed as an extraordinary leader. Its name: Inspiration. This competency impacts numerous business outcomes that executives care about. According to The Inspiring Leader, the competency of inspiration is defined as “inspires and motivates to high performance.”
As Zenger, Folkman and Edinger researched the competency of inspiration for The Inspiring Leader, they discovered three important points about inspiration:
1. Inspiring others was rated the most powerful predictor of being an extraordinary leader;
2. Inspiring others was rated as the most important competency of leaders; and
3. Inspiring others was also the best predictor of having direct reports who are satisfied with and committed to their jobs.
Their research also uncovered the top 10 uninspirational behaviors. According to Zenger, Folkman and Edinger, “these 10 behaviors represent the most common failure point of leaders who lack that inspirational edge.” Ask yourself if you engage in any of the behaviors of uninspirational leaders:
· They lack energy or enthusiasm: when these people walk into the room, you feel the energy leave
· They rarely provide clarity of direction or purpose: team members are not clear about their goals or how they contribute to the success of the organization
· They avoid setting challenging goals or objectives: the lowest 10% of leaders do what needs to be done, but they always work hard to lower the expectations of others
· They have no plan for personal development: these leaders assume their skills are sufficient just as they are
· They provide no coaching or mentoring: the least inspiring leaders lack interest in helping other people develop new skills or capabilities
· They gunnysack critical information: these leaders prefer to control information and share as little as possible
· They say one thing and do another: these leaders are hypocrites and don’t walk their talk
· They encourage conflict and competition with other groups or individuals in the organization
· They have little or no interest in ideas or input from their direct reports: unsuccessful leaders discourage the involvement of the group
· They rarely provide helpful feedback on performance: these leaders give people ratings but no reasons (The Inspiring Leader, pp. 210-221).
See a piece of yourself here? See other leaders in your organization reflected in this list? If you or the leaders in your organization are engaging in these detrimental behaviors, then it’s time to get some help! Coaching, 360 feedback and leadership workshops can help leaders take their effectiveness to the next level. If the leaders in your organization aren’t willing to improve, it might be time to deselect them because they are hurting the performance of the organization and the people they lead.
Busy inspiring others to be inspirational,