What Makes a Leader Inspiring? Guest post by Kim Adele

Kim AdeleMy reflections on traits from some of the greats by Kim Adele, executive coach.

I was reflecting today on some of the leaders I have had the privilege of working with or for, who showed me about the leader I aspire to be and perhaps some who showed me the leader I would rather not be.  The common trait in those that inspired was their belief in those they lead, that ability to recognize a skill, a strength or a natural talent and to give it the opportunity to shine, to nurture, grow and evolve.  I was told a long time ago to recruit people who are skilled in areas where you need to develop and who need to develop in areas where you are skilled, that way the sum of the parts is greater than the individual elements and you all end up stronger and together you can achieve so much more.

Sometimes the greatest gift you can give is to believe in someone and give them the confidence to believe in themselves.

For those who have done this for me I am forever grateful, and I will keep trying to pass that gift on to others. Below are my top seven traits in what makes a leader inspire me.


The truly inspirational leaders are fantastic story tellers, who create a compelling story about their vision and the part you will play. These leaders recognise that leadership is about creating memories; winning the hearts and minds of the people you lead and inspiring them to be the very best version of themselves.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more you are a leader” — JOHN QUINCY ADAMS


Great Leaders encourage and empower their teams to generate new ideas or new ways of thinking. They understand that they don’t know all the answers and that by encouraging their people they will really unlock the potential.

Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” – George Patton.


They recognise their role is to encourage, empower and embolden others to be the best version of themselves.  To not only teach but also to learn.

Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg


Great leaders understand that they need to do the right thing even when no one is watching, that they need to be true to their word and to own up to and learn from their mistakes.

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


Great leaders are completely authentic and bring their whole selves to the situation, recognising that by doing so they are encouraging their team to do the same and to focus on the common goal not a personal agenda.

Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen” – Brene Brown .


Great leaders have a passion for what they do, for how they do it and how they make their people feel. They are driven by a desire to leave things in a better place and to create more leaders.

“The best leaders not only inspire us; they develop and empower us to lead with passion from whatever position we currently hold in life” – Ty Howard


We all remember the greatest leader we worked for, what we learned, how they made us feel and how they changed our lives.

Great leaders have an impact that lasts a lifetime.

A truly great leader is hard to find, difficult to part with and impossible to forget” – unknown



Read More at www.kimadele.org



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