5 Practical Ways Leaders Can Inspire and Influence their People

The difference between motivation and inspiration is that motivation pushes, and inspiration pulls people. Inspiration connects with the hearts and minds of people and ignites a spark that moves them to action.  There are those who don’t really subscribe to the “touchy-feely” approaches to leadership. But wouldn’t it make practical sense to see people willingly move in the right direction verses spending a lot of energy pushing them?

Here are 5 ways leaders inspire and influence people

  1. Go beyond the poster

“A true leader is one who is humble enough to admit their mistakes.” -John C. Maxwell

Hanging a motivational poster up on the wall of a breakroom doesn’t cut it. Be intentional versus passive or aggressive.

Effective leaders: 

  • Can be vulnerable
  • Engage in random acts of kindness
  • Works on being human rather than being a suit
  1. Lead from the heart

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams

True leaders set aside their egos and focus on others. They have the ability to set others including diverse people, up for success. Meaning they don’t just focus on those who are just like them but have the ability to support others who are not like them.

Effective leaders: 

  • Teach or mentor
  • Share helpful information
  • Engage in random acts of kindness
  • Knows empathy
  1. Put trustworthiness over position

“It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity you will never be one.” -Zig Ziglar

Savvy leaders know that being trustworthy translates to long-lasting influence. The truth is employees want to know their leader has their backs. Having a title alone doesn’t cut it.

Effective leaders:

  • Ban the lip-service
  • Walk the talk
  • Say what they mean
  • Follow through on commitments
  • Recognize accomplishments…sincerely
  1. 4Become a radical listener

“Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” -Andy Stanley

Stop talking, start listening. Effective leaders are always asking, listening, watching, and thinking about what they learn.

Effective leaders:

  • Minimize distractions
  • Make eye contact
  • Show legitimate interest and concern
  1. 5Master storytelling

“You are writing the story of your life one moment at a time.”—Doc Childre

Relying on business statistics alone to persuade people to action tend to fall flat. Deeply personal stories make messages powerful and brings hope. Stories let people decide for themselves which is the key to influence and inspiration.

Effective leaders: 

  • Think about the audience. What is in it for them?
  • Have a call to action. Think about how they want people to feel, think, or do
  • Know they are only as good as their last speech or communication
  • Makes employees the heroes by encouraging them to tell their stories

When implementing even just a few of these ideas watch the difference it makes in your workplace. 


Sandy Chernoff
Sandy Chernoff
SANDY'S 30 years of didactic and clinical teaching in study clubs and continuing dental education, coupled with her almost 40 years of Dental Hygiene practice bring a wealth of experience to her interactive soft skills workshops. With her education background she easily customizes interactive sessions to suit the specific needs of her clients. Her energetic and humorous presentation style has entertained and informed audiences from Victoria to New York City. Sandy’s client list includes law firms, teaching institutions, volunteer and professional organizations and conferences, businesses, and individuals. Her newest project is turning her live workshops into e-learning programs using an LMS platform. Her teaching and education background have helped her to produce meaningful and somewhat interactive courses for the learners wanting the convenience of e-learning options. As the author of 5 Secrets to Effective Communication, Sandy has demonstrated her ability to demystify the complexities of communication so that the reader can learn better strategies and approaches which will greatly improve their communication skills and ultimately reduce conflict, resentment, disappointment, complaining, and confusion. As a result, the reader will be able to increase productivity, efficiency and creativity, improve all the relationships in their lives and ultimately enjoy a happier, healthier existence! Sandy blogs regularly on her two websites on the various soft skills topics that are featured in her workshops and e-learning programs.

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