Leadership takes many different forms. From building motivation to empowering people to be creative, leadership also has the potential to inspire others, which can have a lasting impact on their lives. When you inspire others, you foster meaningful relationships that extend beyond the workplace, board meeting, or break room.
As a philanthropist, Micah Raskin has seen the lasting impression that inspiring leadership can have on others. From his experience working at soup kitchens to building campaigns with community leaders, Micah Raskin has a few tips on how to inspire others to live life to the fullest.
Micah Raskin’s first tip? Focus on relationships. Micah Raskin tries his best to develop meaningful relationships with the people he serves, whether it is a guest at the soup kitchen or the leader of a non-profit organization. Get to know the people you work with, ask them genuine questions about their weekends, and how things are going—get to know them beyond their role.
Maintaining a genuine interest in others is a great way to build lasting relationships, opening the door for mutual and beneficial connections. This can look different for different people. While some people may be able to ‘work the room’ for you, it might just mean checking in individually with people and slowly building rapport.
Be An Active Listener
In addition to focusing on relationships, make sure you listen actively to everyone you speak to. Micah explains that it is one thing to ask someone about their Thanksgiving, it is another to remember that their favorite dessert is pumpkin pie. As the infamous Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
When you listen attentively to someone and are able to re-iterate it back to them specific days, weeks, or months later, you make them feel important, seen, and validated. The greatest leaders inspire a ‘feeling’ in others, and a great way to do that is to show a genuine interest in getting to know them. He explains that everyone knows something you do not, which means that every conversation is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Give Individuals Room To Grow
Another great way to inspire others is to give them the space they need to feel inspired. People create their best work when they are given free rein to explore, create, and discover new ideas and ways of working. Micah Raskin explains that a lot of big corporations and businesses have a process that everyone must follow, which almost never leads to inspired work. In any possible scenario, do your best to encourage people to try new things.
Micah Raskin explains that if you provide a timeline, direction, and the authority to act, you will be surprised by the results. When people feel disconnected from the work that they are doing, it is often because they do not get an opportunity to be creative. When you give people the space they need to try new things without fear of making a mistake, they feel empowered.
Do not be afraid to lift up other people’s achievements. Micah Raskin explains that people need encouragement to feel like they can do and be more, and you may be the only person giving it to them. No matter how big or small the achievement, celebrate them all in the same way.
People often feel embarrassed by sharing their achievements with others, so do it for them. Whether it is the person who is achievements you are celebrating, or their co-worker cheering them on, a supportive environment inspires everyone involved. Micah Raskin suggests being that person that everyone wants to tell their good news to because of how uplifting your response is!
Lastly, showcase resilience whenever you can. As a leader, it is your job to respond to stress, frustration, and tension with a level head. In times of challenge, your employees look to you for leadership and guidance to decide how to respond, so show them—lead by example. Inspiring leaders are unshakable, nothing can knock them off of their game, no matter what is going on. They are kind, thoughtful, and honest under any circumstances. Micah Raskin explains that this is not an easy skill to cultivate, but is one of the best ways to inspire others.
Micah Raskin explains that above all else, inspiring others means living a life you love. The way you carry yourself, how you speak to people, and how you conduct business all relate back to how you feel about your own life. Your energy is contagious and inspiring to the people around you, so when you focus on becoming the best version of yourself you can be, everything else will fall into place.
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