How To Inspire Those You Lead

Do you think of yourself as an inspiring leader?

Some leaders are not as inspiring as they could be, but that is more because of a lack intentionality rather than lack of talent or the right qualities. 

It’s easy to think of inspiration in a narrow and limited way. The most common is the picture of a communicator who can inspire a large crowd from the stage. That’s a great ability, but when it comes to good leadership there is far more inspiration that occurs off the stage than on it.

Many opportunities to inspire are one to one and in smaller groups. And to be sure, you inspire by your life. Who you are, how you treat people, demonstrate character and fulfill responsibilities can inspire others!


All leaders must inspire.

Inspiration is not limited to the senior pastor or top leaders in the church. Inspiration is not limited to a certain personality type. If you lead even in the most modest of roles, first remember that what you do matters, and second, you must inspire those you lead.

It starts with you. An uninspired leader cannot inspire others. Before you can inspire others, as the leader, you must be internally inspired yourself. It is your responsibility to show up – fired up. It’s up to you to tap into inspiration provided by God, vision, and perhaps a mentor or two.

The encouraging truth is that God created us all to inspire others according to how He wired us. I’ve listed six styles of inspiration in this post. The list isn’t comprehensive, but it covers all the major styles. You may be a blend of a couple styles, but you are largely one. The idea is to know what it is, and develop it.

Which style is yours?

1) Relationship

Those who inspire by relationship are naturally great with people. They genuinely connect with and care for people. They are good shepherds. Leaders who inspire through great relationships make time for people and have strong people intuition. In general, people are lifted to new heights when they know you love and care about them!

2) Strategic

No one likes disorganization and leading in the last minute, so when someone shows up with a plan who can clearly articulate next steps, people are inspired to follow. Leaders with a big vision who don’t know how to realize it can frustrate those they serve. Strategic inspiration solves that problem!

3) Passion

Those who inspire by passion are true zealots in the most positive sense of the word! They are excited and consistently fired up. Their personality draws people to them and the vision in a magnetic way. People love being around passionate people! They are often gifted with words and communication.

4) Competence

There are some leaders who are so incredibly good at what they do they inspire others to follow them and lead with excellence as well. Like a brilliant musician or athlete, they are just that good at what they do. Our CFO Norwood Davis is like that. He is brilliant at what he does and inspires others to higher levels.

5) Coaching

Leaders who inspire with coaching naturally see and bring out the best in others. They are natural encouragers and among the best at developing people. Good coaches create opportunities for leaders to rise and empower them to do so. Those who inspire by coaching are typically great team builders and good at increasing morale.

6) Serving

Leaders who inspire by their own level of dedication to serving are some of the most special people to have around. They genuinely love serving others, set the bar high for joy, maturity and living out the serving heart of Jesus. Their consistent sacrificial (but joyful) lifestyle captures the hearts of many!

Once you know your style of inspiring others, how can you improve your ability?

  1. Continue to leverage and develop the style that is most you.
  2. There are specific qualities you can develop in order to intentionally become better at inspiring others to action in order to realize your church’s vision.

Five qualities of an inspirational leader:

  • Change agent
  • Can seize opportunities
  • Risk taker
  • Delivers hope
  • Expresses confidence

Each of these five could be a post of their own, but are also clear in just two to three words each.

  • Which one or two are you strong at?
  • Which one needs improvement?

Leaders inspire others to be their best!

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