What is Inspired Leadership?

Reviewing what inspired leadership is and is not can best be done by examining some of the people who have been inspirational leaders such as Martin Luther King, President Kennedy and Mahatma Ghandi, to name a few.  These men were able to not only instruct others what to do but inspire people to new heights.

The first characteristic of these inspired leaders is that they were sharing a grand vision, not just for themselves but for the whole of humanity.  The ‘I had a dream’ speech of Martin Luther painted a picture of a world where all men were created as equals.  Map of Earth on butterflyThe speeches of Nelson Mandela had similar qualities in holding a vision where all people in South Africa will live as equals.  The ‘ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country’, were immortal words from President Kennedy in their time, which joined the people in the USA together.

These are examples of inspired leaders who had a grander vision and were able to share this vision, which reflected the purpose of their lives, with the people around them.  At times this also meant that they were going against what was the norm of the time but their integrity and passion for what they stood for meant that their purpose, their calling in life, was greater than those norms of the time.

These leaders also had to make strategic and complex decisions which were a part of the visions they held.  For Ghandi the practice of peaceful resistance meant that he did not support violence when violence was all around, no matter the pressure to act otherwise.  Rosa Parks in deciding to sit in the white’s only part of the bus is another powerful example where she made a decision to refuse to go with social norms of the time and to stay with her integrity that all people were equal.

These icons of inspired leadership are important but it is just as important to realise that the local soccer coach, drama teacher, or cancer research activist, is just as much of an inspired leader.  Holding a different purpose or vision to the global purposes above, but nevertheless they are just as important visions for the world that these people live in and the people’s lives that they affect.  These everyday icons and their impact on humanity are just as valuable and just as sacred.