How To Inspire Others To Reach Their Potential And Do Great Things

January 20, 2018

Inspirational leaders possess the ability to stir a team’s or individual’s desire to change or act.  To accomplish great things, leaders help their followers see what’s possible and how they contribute to the big picture. It takes an exceptional leader to inspire others.  Inspiration requires the leader to have a clear vision of where the team is going, shared and a focus on results will lift people, teams, and organizations to new heights.

Inspired people believe in themselves and the cause.  They understand how their contribution makes a difference and want to help the team achieve the goal.  Inspirationally led people are internally motivated because they want to change, act and make a difference.  I firmly believe that motivation comes from within.  If a leader tries to motivate people and make them do something they don’t want to do, the leader will fail in the long run.  President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “You do not lead by hitting people over the head.  That’s assault, not leadership…. I would rather try to persuade a man to go along because once I have persuaded him, he will stick.  If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone.”[1] President Eisenhower was right on the money.  If leaders inspire others, they will help you achieve the vision.  If leaders dictate what needs to be done and treat people maliciously, they will leave when they have a chance.

How does a Discipled Leader inspire a team or individual to reach their potential and do great things?  Enlist them, empower them and encourage them…

In closing, I want to share one of my favorite business writings. It contrasts an apathy inducing boss with an inspirational leader:

Are You a Boss or a Leader?[3]

The boss drives his or her team. The leader coaches them.
The boss depends on authority. The leader, goodwill.

The boss says “I.” The leader says “we.”

The boss says “Be there on time.” The leader gets there ahead of time.
The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown on you. The leader fixes the breakdown.
The boss knows how it is done. The leader shows how.
The boss says “go,” The leader says “Let’s go.”
The boss uses people. The leader develops them.
The boss sees today. The leader looks at tomorrow.
The boss commands. The leader asks.
The boss never has enough time. The leader makes time.
The boss is concerned with things. The leader is concerned with people.
The boss lets his or her people know where he or she stands. The leader lets his or her people know where to stand.
The boss works hard to produce. The leader works hard to help his or her people produce.
The boss takes the credit. The leader gives it.


[1] Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotes., Xplore Inc, 2017., accessed November 20, 2017.

[2] Maxwell, J. C. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: follow them, and people will follow you. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.



Share This:

Are you ready to begin learning?

Get a chapter from my soon-to-be-published book, The Discipled Leader in your inbox— free!