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Accountable Inspiration: Striking the Perfect Leadership Balance for Success

July 31, 2023

By: Keather Snyder

The term "leader" often brings a charismatic and inspiring figure to mind, while "manager" might suggest a more structured, results-driven role. Leaders and managers are integral roles to the success of an organization, but striking the right balance between the two is a delicate task. The balance involves adjusting your leadership style accordingly and promoting high employee engagement while understanding your unique strengths and the dynamics of your team.

The Interplay of Leader and Manager

We sometimes create an artificial dichotomy between a leader and a manager in business settings. Leaders are perceived as visionaries who inspire and influence others, while managers are seen as those who organize, coordinate, and ensure tasks are accomplished. Ideally, we could have 2 different people in these roles, but that’s not the reality for most of us.

A truly effective leader must encapsulate both roles, exhibiting visionary guidance alongside a structured approach to meeting goals. This amalgamation is where the line between leadership and management blurs, forging a dynamic, versatile role that inspires while pushing for results.

How to Balance Inspirational Leadership and Achievement of Results

Here are 7 strategies that can help you maintain the balance between being an inspiring leader and ensuring that results are achieved:

1. Communicate Your Vision

Your vision shapes the direction your team follows. It acts as the North Star, guiding the organization's desired future. A clear, compelling vision inspires employees to give their best and align their individual efforts with the company's strategic goals.

For your vision to inspire, it must not only resonate with your team, but it must also be effectively and consistently communicated. Encapsulate the vision in simple, relatable language and repeat it regularly in team meetings, emails, and one-on-one discussions.

Remember, effective communication is a two-way street. Encourage your team to ask questions and share their thoughts about the vision. This ensures everyone is on the same page and fully invested in achieving it.

2. Set Clear Expectations

Performance thrives where expectations are crystal clear. To achieve optimal performance from your team, each member needs to understand their roles, what they're expected to achieve, and how their contribution affects the overall goals.

As a leader, your responsibility is to communicate these expectations openly and regularly. Be specific about what needs to be done, when, and why it's important. Involve your team in setting these expectations where possible, as this promotes ownership and increases commitment.

3. Lead by Example

As a leader, you're a role model to your team. Your actions, not just your words, set the tone for your team's behavior. When you 'walk the talk,' your team will likely follow suit.

Embody these traits if you aim for a diligent, accountable, and engaged team: meet your deadlines, own up to your mistakes, and consistently engage with your team and work. Show enthusiasm for your work and the organization's vision. Encourage a culture of learning and continuous improvement.

4. Encourage Participation and Input

Participation breeds commitment. Employees who feel their opinions are valued and can contribute to decision-making will likely be more committed and motivated. As a leader, foster an environment where every idea is welcomed and considered.

Encourage brainstorming sessions, open forums, and regular team meetings where everyone can voice their opinions. This approach not only boosts morale but also enriches decision-making with diverse perspectives. Moreover, it cultivates a sense of ownership, as team members feel more invested in decisions made.

5. Provide constructive feedback

Constructive feedback is a powerful tool for individual and team growth. Regular feedback sessions ensure that good work is acknowledged and areas for improvement are addressed. However, delivering feedback is an art that requires tact and empathy.

Commend the positive aspects of an individual's work before addressing areas that need improvement. Construct your feedback to be supportive and growth oriented, not critical. This approach promotes a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

6. Promote a positive and inclusive team culture

A positive and inclusive culture is the bedrock of high-performing teams. Such a culture enhances job satisfaction, fosters mutual respect, and drives employee engagement. As a leader, it's your responsibility to nurture an environment where everyone feels valued, included, and capable of reaching their full potential.

Celebrate diversity and promote collaboration and transparency. Ensure that recognition and rewards are fair and that everyone has equal opportunities for growth and development.

7. Be flexible and adaptable

The ability to adapt is a hallmark of effective leadership. Different situations, challenges, and team dynamics require different leadership styles and approaches. A one-size-fits-all approach to leadership often needs to be revised.

Assess each situation and adapt your leadership style accordingly. Whether it's a crisis, a change in strategic direction, or a shift in team composition, being flexible allows you to navigate these changes successfully while keeping your team engaged and focused. Encourage feedback from your team regarding your leadership approach, and be open to evolving your style as needed.

The Role of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement plays a significant role in the balance between inspiration and results. Engaged employees are more productive and more likely to be motivated by their leaders. Employee engagement can be promoted through clear communication, regular feedback, recognition, and opportunities for professional development.

In practice, this means that leaders must maintain regular and open lines of communication with their team members. They should provide clear directions and expectations, listen to their team's ideas and concerns, and acknowledge their efforts and achievements.

Leaders who strike the right balance between being a motivating figure and a results-oriented manager will likely see improved team morale, productivity, and business success. It is not a process that occurs overnight. Still, the balance can be achieved with understanding, application of personality traits, behavioral assessments, adaptable leadership styles, and a focus on employee engagement.

Strive to incorporate these strategies into your leadership approach. You'll become a more effective leader, capable of inspiring your team and driving them toward outstanding performance. Start with an open mind and willingness to learn and adapt; the rest will follow. And remember, the journey toward becoming a great leader is one of constant learning and growth, so never stop seeking ways to improve and evolve.

Ready to unlock the full potential of your leadership style? Take our comprehensive leadership personality styles assessment and discover your unique traits and strengths as a leader. Gain valuable insights into your communication preferences, decision-making tendencies, and motivational techniques that can help you inspire your team while driving tangible results.

The Impact of Self Awareness and Knowing your Leadership Traits

Understanding personality traits is fundamental to effective leadership. Leaders' personalities influence their behaviors, decisions, and team relationships. For example, extroverted leaders may excel in public speaking and networking, while introverted leaders might shine in one-on-one conversations or strategic thinking.

Empathy is another essential trait that allows leaders to understand their team members' perspectives and needs. Empathetic leaders tend to be more effective in motivating their teams because they create an environment of mutual respect and trust.

Conscientiousness, another valuable trait, promotes responsibility, organization, and diligence. Conscientious leaders are generally better at planning, setting realistic targets, and ensuring their teams meet them.

However, one must note that there is no 'one-size-fits-all' set of personality traits for leaders. Different circumstances and team dynamics may require different leadership styles and approaches.

How Behavioral Assessments Can Help

Utilizing behavioral assessments can be an excellent way to understand your own leadership style and the dynamics of your team. These assessments help leaders identify their strengths and areas for improvement. They also provide insight into how your behaviors may affect others and how your team members will likely respond to different situations.

With knowledge from these assessments, leaders can adapt their style to better motivate their team and achieve results. For example, a leader with a primarily dominant style might need to dial back their assertiveness when dealing with a team member who responds better to a supportive and patient approach.

Embrace the power of self-awareness and leverage your personality traits to become a more effective, mindful leader. By understanding your leadership style, you'll be better equipped to adapt your approach and create a positive, empowering work environment where your team thrives.

Don't miss this opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery and transform your leadership capabilities. Click the link below to take the assessment and gain access to personalized insights that will elevate your leadership to new heights!


Remember, a mindful and adaptable leader is the key to a successful and harmonious team. Take the first step today and unleash your leadership potential!



Also read: 

The Leader's Playbook: A Comprehensive Guide from Onboarding to Offboarding
Redefining Leadership: Embracing the Power of Servant Leadership in the Modern Workplace
5 Leadership Traits of the Founding Fathers to Reflect on This Fourth of July
The Visionary Personality Type
A Call for Revolutionary Leadership in Today's Context


Keather Snyder

Keather Snyder is President & Chief Operating Officer of The Omnia Group, a leader in helping organizations optimize their talent selection, development and company culture. She is dedicated to helping organizations drive results through the power of their people. Keather is also hugely passionate about developing our future generation of leaders and dedicates personal time to mentoring college age and early career professionals.

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