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Updated 29 Sep 2020

Robin Sharma on becoming a ‘chief inspirational officer’

Robin Sharma advises you on how to step above mediocrity and influence those around you to engage better and gain a foothold over competitors.

27 August 2014  Share  0 comments  Print

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Successful leaders, do more than simply lead. They understand that business is actually about people and the first priority of business is to take care of relationships.

Here are three things that Robin Sharma advises will take your leadership to the next level and promote you to the chief operational officer of your business.

1. Leadership is about inspiration

“If you look at all great businesses, the Facebook’s, Google’s and Instagrams of the world, they started with inspiration and an idea. There was, of course, flawless inspiration over the years, but inspiration was the main driving force behind their success,” says Robin Sharma.

Pyschologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot have identified the core aspects of inspiration: Evocation, transcendence, and approach motivation.

Inspiration is called up spontaneously and without intention. According to Thrash and Elliot, inspiration involves both being inspired by something and acting on that inspiration.

Thrash and Elliot developed the ‘Inspiration Scale,’ which measures the frequency with which a person experiences inspiration in their daily lives.

They found that inspired people were more open to new experiences, and reported more absorption in their tasks.

The study went on to reveal that inspired people view themselves as more creative and show actual increases in self-ratings of creativity over time.

Patent-holding inventors report being inspired more frequently and intensely than non-patent holders, and the higher the frequency of inspiration, the higher the number of patents held.

2. Leadership is about influence

“Leadership is about going to work every day and, through your words and language, influencing your team. Your team is operating in the way that your behaviour gives your team permission to operate,” says Sharma.

Gregory Dess and Joseph Picken identify in “Changing Roles: Leadership In The 21st Century,” the competitive global economy requires leaders to shift their focus from efficient management to effective utilization of a company’s diversity of resources.

They present five key roles of leadership:

  • Using strategic vision to motivate and inspire
  • Empowering employees at all levels
  • Accumulating and sharing internal knowledge
  • Gathering and integrating external information
  • Challenging the status quo and enabling creativity

3. Leadership is about impact

Sharma says: “Leadership is about having a bias towards actions and getting more done in seven days than what most people get done in one year.”

Behavioural economist, Dan Ariely, provides evidence that people are driven by meaningful work, by others’ acknowledgement and by the amount of effort we’ve put in:

The harder the task is, the prouder we are. Ariely supports Karl Marx’s concept that we care much more about a product if we’ve participated from start to finish rather than producing a single part over and over.

“When we think about labour, we usually think about motivation and payment as the same thing, but the reality is that we should probably add all kinds of things to it: Meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identity, pride,” Ariely explains.

Robin Sharma believes that the best business people have the same thing in common: They are solely focused on getting things done, on executing and delivering expertly each time.

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