John F. Kennedy inspired a nation and the leaders of a space program to put a man on the moon in less than ten years. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” NASA moved forward with confidence.
Martin Luther King Jr. inspired a civil rights movement with a steadfast character and a speech that is still remembered fifty years later. “I have a dream…” Several of King’s quotes remain on the pages of social media and annually captured in many news articles around the country. Many men and women have been able to advance with strong confidence due to Mr. king’s inspiration and sacrifice.
Jack Welch was a leader who knew how to inspire others to dream big and accomplish big. Jack Welch led General Electric for two decades in which GE became a global powerhouse in many areas of business. General Electric is filled with stories of men and women who moved forward with strong confidence during Jack Welch’s leadership. And they continue today.
The list goes on and on. As we read of history or history in the making, great and successful leaders were and are the leaders who inspire others to reach for the best inside themselves for the good of the organization or nation. Think back on leaders you have witnessed in your lifetime. What is it about the leaders in your own life that cause you to consider them great or better than good leaders?
I believe one contributing factor you will find in all successful leaders is the ability to inspire others to reach inside him/herself and to strive to do his/her best with their God-given abilities for the organization while increasing in his/her own capabilities.
Those who utilize this leadership practice will see others rise and increase in skill and competence. Rising beyond even what the individual thought possible. The bittersweet portion of this is the leader often says goodbye to these excelling employees as they move on to greater positions with other organizations. Yet, the successful leader knows this is part of the leadership cycle and is indeed successful leadership.
An effective leader never wants to hold someone back from reaching his/her potential just to keep that person in a current position. That would be stealing confidence, not instilling it. While losing good, quality people is tough, it is very rewarding to see and hear of future accomplishments. Learning of former employees reaching far beyond what they ever could’ve at your organization will bring delight to any leader if you’ve had a hand in encouraging and inspiring that person in his/her skill set and competences.
What will you do this week to inspire others in your organization (church or family) to dig deeper, grow confident in fulfilling their greatest potential? How can you improve your leadership of inspiration?
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.