Leaders are People Who Inspire Other People

September 18, 2018 Open Leadership No Comments

Be careful with ‘quick and dirty motivation’ instead of thorough inspiration. Being thrown does not equal flying.

According to ‘positive thinking’, the following is simple: the right mental attitude is a positive attitude. How to attain this? Well, by a positive attitude. This principle seems to imply that everyone who does not think positively must be dumb. The ‘right mental attitude’ simply seems to be plug & play. Isn’t anything missing in between?

Probably it is. People are not plug & play. Not you nor others are living in a puppet theatre.

The ‘right mental attitude’ is not a matter of pulling the correct strings.

It is an ongoing effort. Sometimes sordid. Always multicolored and multi-layered. The inner fire always shows itself in different ways. Thank goodness.

‘In-spiritus’: lighting the spirit in someone, bringing someone to being, in-spiring. This is far from a simple puppet theatre, far from merely keeping up appearances. Inspiration is like a fire burning deep inside. It has to be kept burning there. This too is not a matter of pulling some strings. More of daring to go through the flames oneself, time after time. Taking risks. This also implies: daring to keep on asking oneself the questions of life. Keep questioning oneself. Am I my job? Who am I without this job? Am I a true leader or am I pretending? Am I deceiving myself? Am I deluding other people?  What is the meaning of it all? These seem to be the questions of an adolescent. That’s correct.

A leader is someone who keeps growing-up. He keeps asking the same questions and deepening the answers.

Most people stop doing this when the ‘requirements of life’ get in the way. A leader will not. This is what makes him most inspired. Moreover, he transmits this inspiration in the shape of concrete charisma: as the one who in doing so is able to bring ‘the right word in the right place’ in concrete situations, over and over again. The fire that burns inside him without burning the whole wood enables others to enjoy the warmth.

This is definitely NOT ‘motivational speaking’ that makes the sparks fly for only a moment.

This is a completely different level. If you make this mistake, you think you get wings while you are merely catapulted a few meters further. Very often to slide back after a short time, with a few bruises added. What makes it especially annoying: people are induced through this to make the same mistake over and over. People so desperately want to fly. The person who makes them believe that this is possible without learning to use their own wings (i.e. without respecting the own deeper motivation), is playing the pipe of a certain pied piper of Hamelin.

Look at nature. Everything changes and keeps changing.

A seed becomes a plant becomes a tree. This natural change from within is organic ‘growth’. Same with your co-workers. Try to be the one for each of them individually as well as for the whole group, who embodies ‘growth’ in an inspired way. E.g.: authentic  pleasure enables growth. A climate in which risks can be taken enables growth. A clear vision enables growth. A feeling of ‘resonance’ among people enables growth. Correct knowledge and experience enable growth. An example (you yourself) enables growth.

One also likes to ‘grow’ as an intellectual being (human) towards a goal that lies outside the growing process itself.

Example: A goal can be prosperity or wellbeing. A goal can be a better place for oneself in the world or a place for oneself in a better world. People look at a leader also as an inspirator to help them choose such a goal. A unique chance! And also an important challenge. A politician e.g. can achieve a lot. But if he forgets to give people constantly a ‘higher goal’ for everyone to strive for and towards which his achievements are oriented to as well, then he will sooner be finished with for the latter rather than the first. This ‘higher goal’ can be worded very concretely. As a matter of fact, what attracts people to it, is its deeper meaning.

The ‘meaning’, or that why we do what we do. Eventually, this is not to be found in one or other superficial mutual agreement but in the one who gives meaning himself.

Without saying where this ends. Said differently: something has ‘meaning’ if it is an object, goal or instrument of the giving of inner meaning and otherwise not. This is what in-spiration is in fact all about. The one who can supply what is needed for this, is justly placed at the front by the rest of the group.

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