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Inspire vs. motivate – what you have are two leadership styles. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re unsure which side you favor, this article covers the main points of each type and how it could help you be a more effective leader in your organization. Keep reading to learn the differences between inspirational and motivational leadership.

Leading With Inspiration

People on the inspiration side of "inspire vs. motivate" prompt individuals to proactively give their best effort and do so for a comparatively lengthier period.

Leaders who practice inspirational leadership tend to show several common traits. These include positivity, gratitude, curiosity, passion, integrity, tact, and a growth mindset. When you display these traits before the people reporting to you, you’re likely to inspire them to push further in their roles.

Inspiration tends to be a driving force that comes from deep within. What impassions one person won’t necessarily do the same for another. Therefore, inspiring your staff can mean taking on different roles and, as they say, “walking the walk.” It’s leading by example and showing them how things are done.

Motivational Leadership

Those on team motivation prefer this style when dealing with employees who are not enthusiastic about their jobs. is an outside force, a push that propels a person to act. In leadership, motivation often takes the form of positive reinforcement and empowerment.

Motivational leaders provide clear directions. They are decisive, practice integrity, and always recognize the results of the work accomplished. They show employees that their efforts are valued. Moreover, they can skillfully set challenges and goals to help track progress.

A Combination of Both

Some leaders have found success by creating a style that allows them to keep their feet on both sides of the inspire vs. motivate discussion.

While this isn’t the easiest way to lead, it may be the most effective. It calls for you to change your approach between being inspirational and motivational, depending on the situation.

You can apply this combination style on a per-person, per-department, or even per-division basis. If you’re considering doing this, remember that it requires significantly more time and effort than sticking to just one approach.

Find Your Leadership Style

If you find it hard to pick a style, observe the people in your organization to see which might prove more effective. Since there’s no hard and fast rule on which works best for a specific type of employee, you may need to experiment until you find the one that works best for your team. You may even end up developing a unique, personal method, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Regardless of your approach, remember to be someone your team can look up to first. Confidence is the key because indecision and a lack of resolve are hardly aspects of a good leader.

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Staying healthy is another thing you can do. Get enough , and get ample sleep to stay on top of your game.

Inspire vs. motivate? It's not a debate. Choose what feels natural to you and, more importantly, what your team prefers. Ultimately, the goal is the same: to get things done.