When Smart People Speak, Are You Listening, http://www.karen-keller.com
Where does the leader turn for inspiration?

You’ve worked hard and you’ve earned the respect and understanding of your colleagues and team. After building a solid reputation, now you’re out ahead of the pack. No one can stop you in board meetings and your team looks to you for the type of leadership and advice that they can rely on.

In short, everything is coming up roses.

Except one thing: where on earth are you going to go from here?  

You’ve heard the phrase “sky is the limit” but what happens when you run out of sky? You shoot for the stars. But when there’s no one else in your field that you really have to look up to, what then? Where do you find inspiration to continue on your path of leadership excellence? I know what you’re thinking: “Stop asking so many questions and start giving me more answers!” 

Well, the thing is, when you’re a leader in your field, you’ve got to look outside the box for inspiration. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. 

Religious figures: Many of us find inspiration from our religious leaders. Regardless of what religion you practice or not, they offer valuable lessons that speak to the heart of our day to day business dealings. Whether it’s about humility or charity, they can give us a little push in the right direction. 

Authors: I’m not saying you’re going to find the answers for business success in the Twilight series, but do try to read books by authors that are out of your comfort zone when it comes to reading. You never know what gems you might find – along with advice on how to apply it.

Civil rights leaders: These folks knew what to do in order to change the world. Sure, it may have taken decades to manifest change, but their voices are the words that inspired millions to change. 

Successful entrepreneurs: Why not look at other success stories? Harvey Mackay, Mary Kay Ash and Lee Iacocca all started small and look where they made it! Now that’s inspiration you can take to the bank! 

Teachers: While we may find more “real world” success than some of our teachers, I find that they can still be great mentors. They knew us back when we were still struggling to make our way and they help put things into perspective.

My point with all of this is that inspiration for leadership can come from just about anywhere and you shouldn’t limit yourself to thinking inside the box for leadership inspiration when thinking outside the box is what got you to where you are today!


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From regional manager to international executive with quadruple the pay, Karen Keller’s unique blueprint carefully outlined the step-by-step process for creating high-impact influence and let me know when I was being influenced in a way that didn’t serve me.
Lloyd Moore
Global Director Supplier Quality & Development - Lear Corporation – South Carolina