In the following slides, you’ll find insights on leadership from 20 of Canada’s most accomplished business executives. Many of them spoke about the importance of listening, the value of co-operation and the need for decisive action. But the characteristic they most often claimed a leader must posses is also the one that is most difficult to define—the power to inspire others.
Of course, saying this is an important quality is easy. Explaining how to inspire people is incredibly hard. If we each think about the people who motivated us in our own lives, it becomes clear that there are myriad ways to be inspirational, but that each leader does it in her or his own way. To mimic a cherished role model risks becoming a poor imitation of them.
Unlike other business skills, there is no clear blueprint for inspiring. Of course, there are ways to nurture “the vision thing,” as one U.S. president infamously called it.