Successful business leaders need a strong financial background, leadership skills, the courage to take risks and a strong moral compass, but the truly successful leaders boast one additional quality – inspiration.
Inspiration looks different for each individual, but all inspired leaders are intrinsically motivated by something greater than him or herself. Gender and age play an important role, as well, based on a recent survey of LinkedIn members. The survey showed that women younger than 29 tend to feel less inspired in general than their male peers, but women older than 65 feeling considerably more inspired than men.
LinkedIn went one step further too add context to these results, asking 60 LinkedIn members the simple question, “What inspires you?” The answers may be inspiring in themselves:
- Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group
“My professional inspiration has no separation from my personal inspiration: it is people who will stop at nothing to make a positive difference to other people’s lives.”
- Naomi Simson, Founder, RedBalloon
“Tell me I ‘cannot’ do, be or have something – and that is the surest way to inspire me into action.”
- Jim Whitehurst, CEO at Red Hat
“Most of us are inspired by our family, friends, and colleagues–as I am–but the thing that most inspires me is problem solving.”
- Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Twitter, Inc.
“Reading has been my favorite pastime since my earliest memory, and in my adult years books have become some of my greatest inspirations. I read more than 200 books a year, and most of these books are non-fiction.”
- Steven J. Thompson, CEO at Johns Hopkins Medicine International, Senior Vice President Johns Hopkins Medicine
“You need to do more than plod along that safe and known track. You need to be ready to switch tracks, and to inspire people to follow you when you do.”
At Dardis, we encourage our clients and our students to find their inspiration in their current jobs, as well as their future careers. We are in the business of training current and future leaders, and our most successful candidates are inspired by what they do and see every day. Our training through Dardis Communications and hands-on sales experience through the Dardis Academy provides a solid base for clients and students, but motivation and the drive to succeed stems from inspiration.
Spend a few minutes today thinking about what inspires you. What cause are you strongly connected to? Which leaders, family members or friends have left an impression on you? What gets you excited at work?
By identifying these motivating factors, you will be on your way to an inspired (and successful) career.
Photo credit: Nimish Gogri