Inspirational leaders

‘Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it’

Bob Dylan

There are so many inspiring people around and with information readily available we can readily access a range of inspiring quotes from truly inspiring people. This can be anyone from philosophers, business leaders, influencers to celebrities.

People can be inspired in many different ways which means that ‘inspirational’ can be open to interpretation. However, broadly speaking, we are all inspired by someone’s values, success or expertise in one way or another.

In this blog, we will be looking at inspirational leaders and why we think of them in that way.

In sporting terms Sir Alex Ferguson has always been someone who has inspired me. Even though he is world renowned for his considerable success at Manchester United, it is also worth noting that he had unprecedented success in Aberdeen before moving south. His ability to rebuild teams and ‘move with the times’ whilst continuing to achieve success and get the very most out of his players was truly amazing.

In a business context, there is a considerable choice, however for me Sir Richard Branson is a standout. A self-made man who is never short of an inspiring quote; ‘Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to’ is a favourite. He has set up and run several successful businesses under the Virgin brand and is currently very much focussed on his space tourism adventures. (By 2013 more than 500 people had reserved seats on a Virgin Galactic spaceship). Sir Richard also supports charities and good causes, setting up Virgin Unite, to help tackle social problems and has also pledged to donate to profits from his companies to reduce global warming.

Another businessman who I think is inspiring is Duncan Bannatyne. Another self-made man, who is best known from Dragon’s den. His interests and successes have included hotels, health clubs, media and stage schools. He has written 7 books and has also been honoured with the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to charities and good causes (For example, UNICEF and Comic relief).

In a workplace context, I have worked for some great leaders. These individuals are a good combination of being very clear, honest and firm whilst fair. From a work perspective, in my opinion it is vital that a leader regularly demonstrates these competencies to be able to inspire others.

The people I have mentioned above all have many skills and qualities as leaders. What they also have is a mixture of sustained success, ability to replicate that success, overcome adversity and equally importantly, giving back to charity and good causes.

However, as individuals, we are all inspired, be it in work or in life by different things, in different ways at different times. Like many things, in life and business, how we are inspired, by whom, when and where is all subjective, a matter of opinion and open to debate.

Thank you.



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