How to become an inspirational leader, and what to avoid

  • Sarah Bonau
  • The Journal of Management Development, June 2017, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/jmd-03-2015-0047

How to become an inspirational leader, and what to avoid

What is it about?

The ideas outlined in this paper serve as a guide for leaders to practise inspirational leadership. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the theoretical aspects of inspirational leadership and present practical steps for applying the theory. This paper discusses the critical role of authentic behaviour and the challenge of showing the right level of authenticity as a leader. Special attention is given to authentic leadership development, and how organisations must work to avoid over-dependency on inspirational leaders.

Why is it important?

The leadership style of inspirational leadership has not gained substantial research attention. Studies have found inspirational leadership to be particularly relevant for practitioners. Comparing the different perspectives on inspirational leadership theory, it becomes evident that self-awareness and authenticity are the main foundations for inspiring followers and implementing a shared vision.

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