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What Makes Great Leaders Inspiring – The Five Key Skills To Inspire Others

Written by: Katie Stoddart, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


As a leader, your role is to: make clear-cut decisions and move the business forward. Great leaders know how to support and inspire others on their mission: what we cannot achieve alone, we can achieve together!

What makes great leaders inspiring? What contributes to this skill of motivating and inspiring others? How do such leaders contribute to transforming businesses around? Here I will go through the five skills to enhance your leadership abilities and influence others. To better understand what makes great leaders inspiring and how you can use such skills for your leadership enhancement!

1. High Levels of Energy

People are moved by emotion! It takes a tidal wave of emotion to move a group of people. Some leaders use fear or anger as a core emotion to move others. It is far more effective (and pleasant in my perspective) to use high positive levels of energy.

Think of Tony Robbins and his peak state or Martin Luther’s King speech. Those are only a few small examples that illustrate the power of positive energy! You can almost feel goosebumps when you listen to M.L. King's dream – emotions are contagious!

What makes great leaders inspiring? You don’t have to look very far to see that energy contributes to great movements! We are never moved through reason: we are always influenced through emotions and justify it through reason. How can you increase your energy levels?

  • Build emotional resilience: know how to manage your emotions

  • Be optimistic: have a positive outlook that enables you to cope with challenging moments

  • Be resilient: use roadblocks as stepping-stones – don’t let them block your flow

  • Invest in your physical health: nothing beats great sleep & exercise & nutrition

  • Meditate: meditation not only helps you to deal with your emotions more effectively, but it also enables higher levels of concentration. Meditation boosts your growth hormone & DHEA levels – both of which contribute to more energy!

  • Work in your zone of genius: energy quickly gets depleted when you are not working in an area that is best suited for you. Find what activities you enjoy most give you a great ROI and focus on them.

2. Great Vision

An empowering vision draws people in. They want to contribute and build something powerful and meaningful. It helps them to feel like their life has meaning. What makes great leaders inspiring is that they show up authentically. They strive for a vision they are devoted to, and they share it with all their passion!

Leaders have allowed themselves to dream and work to manifest their dreams. When we are inspired through a leader’s vision, we often feel stronger and more inclined to stretch ourselves to follow them on their vision.

What are the key ingredients to an empowering vision?

  • Ambitious, yet achievable (it’s a fine line!)

  • Clear, concrete, and measurable

  • Makes a positive difference and contribution

3. Self-Leadership

What makes great leaders inspiring is this ability to tap into their self-leadership: to master themselves first and foremost.

Often, we look up to leaders for ideas, next steps, direction. If the leader is a great role model – it is inspiring!

For leaders to be role models, they also need to feel inspired themselves. Often it is when we are nurturing our inspiration, that we can rise to the occasion and shine!

If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, then the world is yours, and all that’s in it. - Rudyard Kipling

4. Think Differently

When you think of leaders that stand out – what do you notice about them?

What makes great leaders inspiring and motivating is their knack to think outside the box. Apple did well with its ‘think different’ because we are drawn to different ways of thinking. It stimulates our imagination, our creativity. It shifts our perception.

A few ways to think differently:

  • Mindset: nurturing a growth mindset – breaking through inner obstacles and building the self-confidence necessary to achieve goals.

  • Think outside the box: finding new perspectives on current issues.

  • Reframe: when dealing with a challenge, look at it from another angle so that it seems easier or more manageable.

  • Combining: different concepts tied together to create something new.

  • Everything is possible: a fierce determination to look at the possibilities available ‘nothing is impossible’

  • Innovation: ongoing curiosity and looking for new solutions & perspectives.

5. Empower Others

Micromanaging is the opposite of empowering others. Servant leadership and enabling others to grow is the only way to empower others. Leaders are at the service of those they lead.

What makes great leaders inspiring cannot be dissociated from empowering others.

To empower others:

  • Listen, engage, and seek first to understand

  • Provide challenging tasks

  • Encourage and acknowledge progress

  • Support through more coaching (asking questions & feedback), and less mentoring (giving advice)

  • Find their strengths and their ‘zone of genius’

As others feel more empowered, they will enjoy their work and feel all the more inspired.


Though it might seem like an innate ability to inspire others as a leader. What makes great leaders inspiring is a powerful combination of these five different traits. The more you practice each one of these, the easier it will be to inspire other people!

Thank you for reading,


For more info, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and visit my website! Read more from Katie!


Katie Stoddart, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Katie Stoddart, founder of ‘The Focus Bee’ is an award-winning, international, high-performance coach, speaker and podcast host. Katie supports leaders and business owners to reach & sustain peak performance in their business.

For her weekly podcast ‘The Focus Bee Show’, Katie interviews leading experts in high performance. Passionate about living intentionally; Katie challenges each and every person she works with to re-focus on what matters most. Katie works primarily with entrepreneurs & executives through 1-1 coaching & workshops on: Focus, Leadership & Performance.



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