The World Needs More Inspirational Leaders

The World Needs More Inspirational LeadersI’m once again on the hunt for career opportunities. After almost two years, my long term contract with a magazine publisher for younger kids has come to an end. It’s part of the drawback of being a contractor – no notice, no severance. Just – “hey, yeah, um we aren’t going to renew your contract that ends like TODAY.” But with all experiences, I have learned so much about so many things, including what makes a good inspirational leader.

In all fairness, my boss tried her best to get them to renew. She has been wonderful and I’ve loved working with her and the small marketing team. I made some real, strong friendships. What I didn’t like was the lack of true leadership that permeated throughout the company. No one took ownership or set a clear vision for the company. I would be in meetings and when pressed to make a decision, everyone in the room shrugged, unable to make the final call. How can anyone make progress and move forward if no one is at the helm?

The phrase, “Let’s try this again, just so we can check it off the list as things we have tried that don’t work, so the bosses feel satisfied” was repeated time and time again.

Everyone at the company was kind and polite, but the company lacked any sort of internal culture. The company has not been doing well for years. The owners have way too much expendable income on their hands and keep funneling money into it for whatever reason – only known to them.  And because they lacked funds, they were unable or unwilling to infuse innovation, inspiration and fun into their corporate culture.

What I realized towards the end of my contract was this: It’s not the kind of place I want to work. While it did meet a few of the things I am looking for, it was missing a key factor: Inspirational Leadership. 

What makes an inspirational leader? 

We all have different ideas of leadership, but I bet that there are some traits that almost everyone can agree on.  In my never ending quest of improving my own experiences, here are 6 traits that I have found make a leader successful and inspirational:

  1. They have a VISION.
    You may not completely agree with it, but you trust them enough to help them achieve it.
  2. They get to KNOW THEIR PEOPLE.
    I’ve been managed by far too many that never take the time get to know who works for them. No wonder they end up not trusting them or empowering them. You don’t trust people you don’t know.
  3. They have PASSION.
    The people that others want to follow are hungry for what they do. They go after things with gusto.
  4. They come to work with an OPEN-MIND.
    Surrounding yourself with yes men is never a good idea. The leaders that succeed are open to other’s opinions and do not shoot down someone challenging their ideas.
  5. They keep LEARNING.
    They understand how important it is to encourage learning for everyone, including themselves. We all have plenty to learn.
  6. They are PERSONABLE.
    You can probably point out a few leaders who lack the ability to really connect with others, but for the most part – a true, successful leader is someone you like to be in the room with. They make you laugh, draw you in, challenge you to think. They have charisma.

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As I look for the next career opportunity, this experience has taught me to much about the importance of good leadership and has made me that much smarter about what to look for and what to accept.

Keep Learning my Friends…and if you have any leads in the marketing/social media consulting realm – let me know!



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