How to Be an Inspirational Leader

What can we learn about inspirational leadership from successful start-up companies? Conversely, what can failed corporations teach us?

Think about the inspirational leaders of Apple, Amazon and Southwest Airlines. You can probably name them: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Jeff Bezos, and Herb Kelleher.

Next, try to name the leaders of General Motors, TiVo and AOL during the same period. Some were good, but very few left a leadership legacy that was strong enough to ensure future success.

Hundreds of newly published business books attempt to define the qualities of great business leaders, while claiming that leadership can be learned. But can it? Why do CEOs at top-notch companies fail to provide truly inspirational leadership?

Apparently, leadership is not easily learned or practiced, even though myriad resources—from leadership development programs to executive coaches—exist.

The situation is truly puzzling: We know competition is fierce, and most candidates for senior leadership positions are highly qualified, experienced and deeply engaged in their work. Lousy bosses are commonly weeded out in the long run, and competent bosses are usually promoted. Why, then, do so many good managers lack the requisite leadership skills?

There are as many different formulas for leadership development as there are brands of cereals at your local supermarket.

One consultant suggests it is rare for leaders to start with “why,” but when they do, they inspire people to follow them with unprecedented loyalty and passion.

Here’s how leaders should start with why they believe in what they do.

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The complete 2,000 word article includes these important concepts:

  • Leading with Why
  • The Why of Apple
  • Creating Loyalty
  • Creating Dream Jobs
  • The Brain Science of Inspiration
  • The Shift from Why to How and What

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