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Stop Telling and Start Inspiring 

Yesterday I read an interview conducted by Sky Magazine with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

During the Q&A, Weiner discussed the difference between leaders and managers. In his own words, “Leadership, to me, is the ability to inspire others to achieve shared objectives. The important word there is inspire. The key difference between managers and leaders is that managers tell people what to do, while leaders inspire them to do it. Inspiration comes  from three things: clarity of one’s vision, courage of one’s conviction, and the ability to effectively communicate both of those things.”

Weiner’s words bring up two important questions for those who call themselves leaders. 

1 – Do you tell people what to do or inspire them to do what’s right? Many bosses flex the power of their position, coercing subordinates to fall in line. They mistakenly believe this qualifies them to be called a leader. It doesn’t. Leaders model the way, inspiring others to work alongside while demonstrating a genuine care and concern for the team. 

2 – Do you possess clarity of vision and courage rooted in conviction? Better yet, have you defined it for those you lead? Without being crystal clear on what you believe and why you believe it you will never inspire (nor lead) anyone. 

If you want to be “linked in” with someone, I encourage you to focus on those you lead. Start with clarity and courage. If you will, I suspect you won’t need to tell people what to do. 

You’ll inspire them. 

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Why do you think so many bosses fall into the trap of ‘telling’ others what to do?

Comment Below …

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Mike "Coach" Brown

6 years ago

Okay Randy, now you are sounding like my writing coach. But, it is so true…we communicate so better and recipients of our intentions respond better when we take care to “Show” rather than “tell” what is on our mind. Demonstrations and illustrations are far more effective than dissertations. A coach who cannot show what he wants a player to do is but a manager yelling words that are subject to interpretation by the player. Maybe that’s why so many people in the pews fall asleep during sermons – they can’t connect to the relevance.

Randy

6 years ago

Great insight Coach. Thanks for taking time to comment!

Morrease Leftwich

6 years ago

I find that many leaders don’t understand their role. They see themselves perched on the mountaintop and not as a teammate. That is why it is important for leadership training to be mandatory.

Randy

6 years ago

Great comment, Morrease. Thanks!

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