Leaders in our time face numerous challenges: they are expected to achieve outstanding business results, must have a clear vision for the company, they must generate team spirit and have a concern for people. On top of all these demands we expect our leaders to be inspiring people. Employees, especially the younger ones, want their leaders to be human beings, not supermen and women. Rather , they look for people they can identify with.
But what does it mean to be an inspiring leader? Some theories claim that inspiring leaders are excellent speakers, people who convince by using appealing images and eloquent language (Gardner, 1995) Other theories say that inspiring leaders are driven by a strong vision. They work actively towards their goals and deal with barriers in an optimistic and energetic way (Spitzer, 2000) According to Vaill (2000), inspiring leaders concentrate on the process of purposing : giving meaning to the circumstances and events at work.
Inspired leaders look for other ways to have people commit themselves to their work. Rather than focussing on inventing techniques these leaders protect and foster working conditions that allow employees to be inspired in their job.
This article examines ways in which leaders can foster the already existing motivation of employees.