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Leading on the Edge: Extraordinary Stories and Leadership Insights from The World's Most Extreme Workplace by Rachael Robertson

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Appendix A

What it takes to be an inspirational leader

I'm convinced the ability to inspire and motivate people is the single biggest attribute of a successful leader. The Randstad World of Work Report 2011/12 found that more than half of all employers and employees surveyed confirmed the critical need for a leader who inspires and motivates, yet half of the respondents rated their own direct manager as poor or average in this area.

There is a significant gap between what is expected of our leaders and what they are delivering. Add the fact that productivity is directly related to employee motivation and it becomes not just a people issue but one that impacts on the bottom line. So how does a successful leader inspire and motivate? What's below the surface of this particular human capital iceberg?

The ability to inspire and motivate my team, particularly through the long, dark Antarctic winter (when we couldn't even step outside for four months), was critical. Upon our return to Australia, 95 per cent of my winterers rated their general level of satisfaction with the expedition as moderately satisfied to highly satisfied. Keeping this team happy, productive, motivated and resilient required strong and constant leadership.

This book is not intended to be theoretical or ‘preachy’, but here I want to share the six things that led my expeditioners to rank me as ‘inspirational’, as I think these things apply universally to every leader in every workplace.

Vision

The ability to tell ...

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