One positive outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a transformation in the way great leaders approach leading their teams. It has compelled leaders to genuinely develop and engage with their workforce. They have realized that to foster the desired culture, they must inspire their team members rather than simply focusing on tasks. Creating an environment based on trust and allowing room for failure has become essential. It’s not solely about winning; it’s about making a meaningful difference. Leaders must exemplify authenticity, humility, courage, and vulnerability.
Recently, I came across Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, “Trust and Inspire,” which resonated with me on this topic. He shares a quote that struck a chord with me: “When we model, people will think, I want to be like that person. When we trust, people will think, I want to deliver for that person. And when we inspire, people will think, I want to contribute with that person. We can be that leader.” Covey emphasizes viewing leadership as stewardship and our responsibility as leaders is to serve as role models. Trusting people to find solutions and inspiring them to go beyond expectations empowers them to achieve remarkable things.
One of the key takeaways for me was the importance of taking the time to clarify expectations. Think of it like an upfront contract. When done correctly, this creates a shared vision and an agreement of what needs done. When a leader provides good direction, support and inspires the individual to reach their desired outcome, then trust is created. Then we can work alongside the team to provide direction and support as needed along the way to help with accountability. It is important though to have a mutually agreed-upon process of accountability and honoring the commitment on your end as the leader.
Think of it this way. If you would want to lose weight and decided to hire a weight loss coach, you would sit down together to determine why you want to lose weight. You and the coach would need to mutually determine what you are realistically willing to do to lose it. Then the coach would help you set a plan to make it happen. You would need to trust that the coach can guide you and allow them to monitor your progress. If things are not going well, you would want the coach to help you stay on track and give you support to keep going. The coach’s job is to help inspire you, create trust and be a model for how to get to the goal. You would never be inspired or trust someone that is overweight and out of shape, nor would you think they could help you stay accountable and reach your outcome.
As leaders, our mission is to inspire individuals to grow, take action, and provide them with a sense of purpose. Each person on our team has a unique “why” and distinct sources of inspiration. We need to care about every person on our team and let them know we are dedicated to their success.
I hope this article helps you see that people have greatness inside of them and motivates you to unleash their potential through inspiration and trust.