Skip to main content

The Power Paradigm: Four Ways Leaders Inspire Greatness

The Power Paradigm: Four Ways Leaders Inspire Greatness

Power is a highly charged word for many. For some, it symbolizes strength. For others, it equates to ascendancy. Still, to others, power is undue privilege juxtaposed against oppression. Those in leadership positions can encompass any of these notions. At its core, though, power is simply the ability to think or act in a certain way. It is freedom.

Exceptional leadership is at the intersection of power and inspiration. It is the willingness and ability to make a positive impact on the lives of others and affirm the greatness therein. The beauty of this truth is that anyone can embody this chief leadership characteristic. It is only necessary to possess the fortitude and attitude to personify this competency.

Here are four ways leaders can exercise their power to inspire greatness in others.

[Related: How to Lead When You Don’t Feel Leader-ly]


Show genuine support and engagement in the struggles and triumphs of others’ journeys.

What we all know by now is that our lives and businesses are a continuum of successes and challenges. Helping others transform their challenges into successes is the essence of servant leadership. To be in leadership is to be of service.

While the concept of delegation is an essential leadership lesson, great leaders are also unafraid to roll up their sleeves and demonstrate a willingness to serve alongside those they lead to drive an optimal outcome. Great leaders acknowledge that favorable results for others are tied to their own.


Tell people why they are important.

According to a Huffington Post article, a readership sample of Gary Chapman’s 1992 bestseller, The Five Love Languages, listed Words of Affirmation as the most common way people like to experience love. This preference can also translate to business and organizational relationships. Verbal affirmation indicates that leaders see and appreciate those they lead.

It costs nothing to send a quick note of sincere thanks for a job well done. Even in perilous times, expressing empathy and concern for another person affirms not only someone else’s humanity, but also your own.

[Related: Human-Centric Organizations: A Positive Result of the Pandemic?]


Acknowledge your vulnerabilities.

When leaders share stories of their own journeys, it demonstrates courage and fosters connection. Translating these vulnerabilities into relatability solidifies a leader’s place as a change agent who works through some of the same challenges as those they lead.

People do not resonate with businesses and organizations. They resonate with other humans. Be human.


Believe in the greatness of others, including those whose personalities, backgrounds, and gifts are different from yours.

We are all endowed with a unique, innate brilliance that is distinctive to each of us. Trust in the manifestation and execution of these traits as beneficial to the movement you are leading.

Just as important, for great leaders to believe in others, they also need to be confident in their own superpowers, talents, and skills. It is easy to taint the perception of others based on our own insecurities. Extraordinary leaders know that a diverse team that complements each other is a winning team.

The great Maya Angelou once said:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.

Great leaders use their power to inspire greatness in others. Now that is legacy.

[Related: How Three Business Leaders Embraced the Potential of Platinum Linings]


Kelli Wingo serves as the Founder/Chief Vision and Strategy Officer of KMW Catalyst, a leadership development consultancy dedicated to transforming the business experience into the human experience through entrepreneurial culture, employee experience, vision, and strategy. She is also the Founder & Chief Orator of Spiryt in Motion, an oratory company dedicated to dismantling the oppression of limiting beliefs one talk at a time. You can connect with her and see more of her content on her website, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


Continue learning with this Ellevate Playbook: