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Leadership: inspired to inspire?

New study explores when leaders have the potential to inspire (and when they do not).

[Translate to English:] (Symbolbild: Inspiration)

"Ideal" leaders should serve as role models, inspire followers and support their personal growth. While we largely invest in selection and training of leaders, limited attention has been spent on how everyday work experience of leaders affect their leadership and how this experience can be influenced in beneficial ways.

With a diary approach, Dr. Manuela Morf from the Center for Human Resource Management (University of Lucerne) and Arnold B. Bakker from the Center for Positive Psychology (Erasmus University) studied 100 leaders over 5 weeks.

Results suggest that leaders need to be inspired by their work in order to inspire others. Bureaucracy, organizational politics and competition are hindering. Yet, it is also crucial whether a leader cares about others. This prosocial motivation determines whether leaders channel their energy in such a way that they can authentically inspire others to achieve common goals.

The study has been accepted for publication by the European Management Journal and is online available. Article