Leadership and Inspiration

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My name is Travis Moore. I am an Arizona native, a Sun Devil, an aspiring public relations practitioner, an avid fan of Japanese animation and comics, and a coach.

This coming spring will mark the end of my ASU education. During school, much of my research has been in the fields of political communication and general mass communication. A long-term goal that I have been running with lately is to gain a plethora of work experience, earn a doctorate degree in either education or communication studies, and eventually create my own curriculum and teach public relations skills and theory to university students.

What is Leadership?

An influx of words will arise in one’s mind when considering the traits of a quality leader. This is primarily because everybody has their own, personal conception of what a leader actually is and what traits he or she possesses. Some common aspects of what could be considered the makings of a good leader include effective communication, a good handle on ethical behavior, or an overarching sense of confidence that inspires the team. One specific quality that is difficult to argue against is that a leader has the ability to inspire and influence either those around them or those in their respected group or team.

In a LinkedIn post, author Clay Kahler states that, “Inspiring your team to see the vision of the successes to come is vital” and that a good leader will either directly or indirectly make his or her team feel invested in the accomplishments that they make. I believe that this is the most important trait that a good leader has. Having the ability to lead by example or thoroughly examine ethical conflicts are good qualities to have, but the overlying foundation of what really makes a leader is the ability to make those around them perform to the best of their ability.

Having the ability to inspire also makes for a stellar leader because those who can do so can possibly have that same effect on individuals outside of their team. In a 2009 Ted Talk by Simon Sinek, the moderator uses the example of Apple as a company that uses leadership and its ability to inspire in order to execute effective marketing. Sinek says that while most companies market in a simplistic manner to people, explaining that people should buy the product and why, Apple does something different. He describes their marketing communication as a message that transcribes as such:

“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers.”

While this messaging may be employed for the purpose of persuading other individuals to buy a product, it also displays a leadership style that has the ability to inspire people to do more than the status quo. It depicts the attitude that a good leader will have: someone who challenges himself or herself in order to show someone else that they can better themselves by doing the same.

Many leaders will be remembered for how they inspire in others rather then what they physically accomplished. The ability to influence the morale or passion in another is what truly gives a person the right to be considered as a leader.

(This article was written by Travis Moore and uploaded onto the blog by Omar Mohammed)