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Why Inspirational Leadership Alone Is Not Enough

Bain & Co research reveals that strong leaders unlock higher performance by empowering people

By | Tiaan Moolman | Eric Garton |

To win in the market, every company must emphasise the specific capabilities that make it better than the competition.

We found that the same is true of leaders: They must be spiky, not well-rounded, and those “spikes’ must be relevant to the way that the company creates value.

When employees aren’t just engaged, but inspired, that’s when organisations see real breakthroughs.

Inspired employees are themselves far more productive and, in turn, inspire those around them to strive for greater heights. Our research shows that while anyone can become an inspiring leader (they’re made, not born), in most companies, there are far too few of them.

In employer surveys that we conducted with the Economist Intelligence Unit, we found that less than half of respondents said they agree or strongly agree that their leaders were inspiring or were unlocking motivation in employees. Even fewer felt that their leaders fostered engagement or commitment and modelled the culture and values of the corporation.

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