How Outstanding Leaders Inspire People No.1

It is a simple fact that people are rarely inspired by those whom they do not like. Being liked, or at least being respected is fundamental to being able to inspire those with whom you work. Even a love/hate relationship can work for aspiring leaders, always provided that there is an element of respect mixed in with the hatred.

So, how do you get people to like you?

Lord Chesterfield put it very succinctly when he said: “Make every person like himself a little better and I promise that he or she will like you very much indeed.”

To continue with his lordship’s theme it is a simple matter of taking an interest in people. A good way to achieve this is by asking them questions about themselves, their likes, dislikes so that you build up a dossier on the individual. You then have a comfortable opening gambit whenever you meet – just start each new conversation with a question or statement about the topic that you know is of personal interest to the other person.

But just talking about a subject that you know to be of interest to the person you want to get to like you does not necessarily make them like themselves “a little better.” You have to take the conversation a little further to get them to like themselves. A good way to do this is by giving them praise in the area in which they are interested.

For instance if you know the other person to be interested in photography you can praise one of their photos. Or if they play tennis you can congratulate them on a recent victory. Or, best of all, if they have recently completed an exceptional piece of work, congratulate them on that.

People are inspired by their successes and even more so when others recognise their successes. You have to know someone to know which successes are important to them.

The first step in being an inspiring leader is to get to know the people you want to inspire.

A Tribute to a Great Leader – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs shows off iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worl...

Image via Wikipedia

It is rare that the passing of one human being affects people all over the world. It is even more rare when that man was an industrialist. Usually emotional fallout from deaths only occurs when the person who has passed on is a mega movie star like Bob Hope or Steve McQueen, or a life-changing political leader like John F. Kennedy or Winston S. Churchill, or a major public figure like Princess Diana or Mahatma Ghandi.

The fact that the death of Steve Jobs affected so many people so deeply caused me to reflect on the qualities of the man and how he managed to touch me personally and millions of other people so deeply. What did he do for us that created such a strong emotional bond? These were some of the answers that I found:

1. Steve Jobs made it respectable and valuable to be a rebel with a cause – to be your own person. He said: “Follow your inner voice.”

2. Steve Jobs made innovation more important than blind plaigurism. Jony Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, said of him: “He treated the process of creativity with a rare and wonderful reverence.”

3. Steve Jobs respected the people who used his products. He hated the arrogance of technology companies who regarded people who could not use their products as stupid. He thought people who made products that were difficult to use were stupid. He said: “Simple is harder than complex.”

4. Steve Jobs understood and valued the fact that teams of people achieve more than any single individual can ever achieve. He was always pushing for higher standards. He said: “Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.”

5. He understood the importance of communication, that is why his apple commercials are still among the greatest ever created, why his annual “new product launch presentations” were so carefully staged and so eagerly awaited by his loyal fans; and why he loved music with such a passion.

The lessons of Steve Jobs life are simple yet essential for all aspiring leaders”

1. Whatever you do make sure you are the best at what you do.

2. Challenge everything.

3. Have the courage to do what your customers want, not what all your competitors are doing.

4. Believe in people, teams of people, and inspire them to be better than they think they can be.

5. Make your communications lively, fun, informative and stylish.

6. Keep it simple.

7. Be yourself. Listen to your inner voice.

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world; are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011

I would encourage you to watch this video of Apple’s tribute to their leader – Steve Jobs tribute video.