The root of the word “inspire” means to breathe spirit into. What has “Spirit” to do with leadership? Everything. Spirit is about movement, about change, about transformation. That is what Leadership is about. Plato believed that there needed to be a yearning in the student’s heart for truth. It was a fire and the student burns to know what the teacher recognises. I open my first novel “Eden Burning” with a quotation from John Main, a Benedictine monk, who in his book “Door to Silence” states – “The purification that leads to purity of heart … is a consuming fire. We must not be afraid of the purifying fire. We must have confidence in the fire because it is the fire of love … it is the fire who is love.”
So we hear of Plato and how he inspires his students to allow themselves to be burnt off – to be transformed – to be changed by a higher knowledge. We hear how the metaphor of fire is associated with the descent of Spirit and we see how Spirit and movement is the essence of inspiration.
Of course an inspirational leader needs to be also practical and to ensure results are achieved. The best leaders are passionate that his happens but they move others to action through a depth of being, a BIGNESS which the other recognises and towards which they are compelled to go. Inspirational leadership holds pragmatism with wonder, depth and profundity with tactical efficient responses. Every decision holds strategic perspective, alignment with values and hits the spot of rightness in the present moment.