Jul 12, 2018

5 Keys to Being an Inspiring Leader

If you lead a ministry, then a big part of your role is to inspire staff and volunteers to work toward a common goal.

Look at history and you'll see that great leaders had this in common.  They had the ability to inspire others.

Think about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his speech in Washington, D.C.  Or Abraham Lincoln's speech at Gettysburg.  Or J.F.K's "ask not what your country" speech.  Or Winston Churchill's "finest hour" speech.  All of these were "drop the mic" talks that made a significant impact in history.

Yes, some of the ability to inspire people came from talent they were born with.  But the good news is this, even if you weren't born with innate charisma, you can still inspire the people you are called to lead.  Let's look at 5 keys you can use to inspire the people on your team.

VISION
Inspiring leaders have a vision that they are leading people to.  A vision that is challenging and causes people to stretch. 

People want to be part of something that is bigger than themselves.  Something that will enable them to leave a legacy.  Something significant.  

If you want to be an inspiring leader, then begin championing the ministry's vision.  Think big.  Talk about the vision when you meet with your team.  Tell stories about how the vision is being fulfilled.  Challenge people to stretch for the vision.  Be a walking, living billboard for the vision. 

TENACITY 
Inspiring leaders inspire by their commitment to complete the tasks before them.  Rather than whining when things get hard, they push on with a determination that won't let them quit. 

They simply don't give up until they've accomplished the task.  They use every failure as a stepping stone toward the vision.

COURAGE
All of the leaders I mentioned at the beginning of this article had something in common.  They faced significant challenges that required them to lead with courage.  You see, inspiring people usually doesn't happen when things are going well.  It happens when a leader has the courage to face challenges and uncertainty head on.

A great Biblical example of this is David.  He had the courage to step out and face Goliath when no one else would.  His courage that day inspired the entire nation.

EMPOWERMENT
Yes, people are inspired when the leader accomplishes his or her goals.  But people are even more inspired when the leader empowers them to complete their goals. 

You inspire people when you empower them to do things they never thought they could do.

You inspire people when you push them out of their comfort zone.

You inspire people when you pick them up when they fail and empower them to try again.

You inspire people when you believe in them and tell them so.

You inspire people when you help them become great at what they are good at. 

AUTHENTICITY
We live in a day when many leaders' walk doesn't match their talk.  The #MeToo movement has exposed leaders who were not authentic in the business world, entertainment world, political world and even the church world. 

Like never before, the church needs leaders who will be the real deal.  Leaders who will put safeguards in place that will keep them on track.  Leaders who will open up their life and invite people to hold them accountable. 

Remember, it only takes one incident to undue a testimony that you spent decades building.  There is a well-known leader who is experiencing this now.  He is a man who inspired me over the years with his books, his teaching and conferences he held.  He was the pastor of one of the largest, most influential churches in the country.  And yet, now he has blown his testimony...his credibility...his ability to inspire others, because he wasn't authentic in some areas of his life.

What you hide will eventually be exposed.  Make sure you live an authentic life so there is nothing that needs to be exposed.

Focus on these 5 things and over time, you will gain the credibility to be a leader that people follow and are inspired by. 

Your turn.  What are some other traits of an inspiring leader?  Who is a leader who has inspired you?  Share your thoughts and insight in the comment section below.  

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