When executives engage in leadership development training, they aren't just working toward cultivating the proper technical skills to help them spur their organizations to success. Leaders also need to be highly skilled when it comes to inspiring teams, not just directing them.
Inspiring a great team
For author Simon Sinek, there is a significant divide between leaders and people who lead. In a TED talk, Sinek explained that while the latter group expends more energy thinking about results and how a company's products can help it realize its goals, leaders are more focused on engaging their employees and clients with a compelling vision.
For instance, Sinek pointed out that Apple serves as an excellent example of this critical difference at work. The technology company sells electronics similar to those of many other businesses, yet Apple products have risen to the top of the smartphone industry. Adopters of these technologies also tend to be highly loyal to the brand and passionate about their devices, and this enthusiasm is something many enterprises struggle to capture. What Sinek believes sets Apple apart and has enabled its success is that the company stands for an idea, not a product. When people buy iPhones or iPads, they purchase the concept of being on the cutting edge rather than just a gadget. When firms are acutely aware of their values and these are infused into all aspects of the business, consumers will be inspired.
Additionally, this sense of purpose should be clear not only to customers, but to employees as well, Sinek stated.
"If you hire people just because they can do a job, they'll work for your money," Sinek said. "But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they'll work for you with blood and sweat and tears."
According to Fast Company, one of the most important things that successful leaders do when they are at their best is inspire others with a shared vision. When leaders can communicate the "why" behind what a company does and what that means for employees, staff members are more likely to perform at higher levels. If professionals really feel as if they're part of a meaningful mission and that this purpose aligns with their own interests, they will work harder and more effectively.
Leadership development training can give executives the capabilities they need to craft a compelling vision that they can use to influence others. This way, leaders can build passion and loyalty among both customers and employees.