Friday, June 8, 2018

Lean Quote: Importance of Inspirational Leadership

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.


"Leadership is not just about giving energy ... it's unleashing other people's energy." — Paul Polman

There are a host of reasons why inspiration is so important in the leadership process. An inspiring leaders can:

Enhance self-esteem. People perform at their best when they feel confident. Inspiring behavior from a leader directly enhances people’s feelings of self-worth and self-efficacy.

Give new meaning to work. The inspiring leader is able to inject a higher meaning to work. There is a classic story about a bystander who asks two workers, “What are you doing?” One worker replies, “I’m cutting stones”; the second worker says, “I’m building a cathedral.” Then the bystander watches the care and the quality of work done by each of them and quickly artisanship and the first did not.

Increase cooperation. Inspiring leaders create a culture of cooperation rather than of competition and rivalry.

Encourage higher goals. Inspirational leadership encourages people to set their sights at a much higher level.

Heighten creativity. Inspirational leadership can foster a greater willingness in people to attempt new behaviors and to seek ingenious new ways to accomplish tasks.

Increase risk taking and exploration. Inspirational leadership frees people to take greater risks, to explore different ways of accomplishing a task.

Create higher productivity.  An inspiring leader elevates the standard of productivity, how hard people work, the hours they put in, and their willingness to overcome any obstacles.

Provide stronger identification with the organization. The leader’s emotional connection with the team members creates a stronger bond between the organization and its people.


Inspirational leadership behavior provides a powerful “glue” between the leader and the group. The culture of the organization is fundamentally transformed and people are motivated to work longer, harder, and with greater focus than before.

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