How to inspire leadership in others

‘Do not wait for leaders; Do it alone, person to person’

The above quote from Mother Teresa reinforces the significant influence one person can have on another — the liberating reality that every moment counts.

As a business leader, you have a responsibility for setting the expectations of what leadership looks like for the very people you empower to lead. You set the example others aspire to emulate … or not. Their talent in guiding, mentoring and cultivating their teams directly affects your business results, and even more importantly, your brand’s reputation.

At Safelite, we long ago put a stake in the ground identifying our people as our most valued asset, and further, that leaders inspire our associates to deliver extraordinary results. It was a key turning point for our business — one that had us thoroughly examining the core essence of leadership.

Good leaders rise to the top. You can clearly see the impact of their inspiration. Equally so, poor leaders are a detriment and ultimately do more damage than anyone can fully appreciate, understand and quantify. That damage shows up in increased turnover, lower engagement, inadequate customer service skills and poor results.

Here are philosophies your leaders should keep in mind to appropriately reflect your organization.

1. Your vision is being embraced. Your vision is clear to everyone in the organization. Leaders play a key part in helping those they manage understand how their role contributes to achieving it.

2. Your people are a daily focus. Once you identify your vision, ensure that your values clearly support it and are evident to the entire organization. Remember your people over your end goal. Your words and actions set the stage for their performance.

3. Words and actions matter. Sounds simple, but it isn’t. The words leaders choose and the actions they demonstrate both in good and challenging situations will either build or destroy the trust, confidence and performance of others. Use the right words, set the right example and watch your associates take pride in doing their best to achieve extraordinary results.

4. Work aligns with a greater purpose. At Safelite, we believe that record performance doesn’t happen without having talented, engaged people who work with a greater purpose. We count on our leaders to invest the time and effort necessary to help associates overcome any obstacles in order to perform at their very best, all while growing their confidence to become leaders in their own right.

5. Celebrations are a part of your culture. The easiest and greatest way to build pride throughout your organization is to show appreciation. Unfortunately, some organizations don’t acknowledge the hard work of their teams even when milestones are reached. Your associates notice.

Consider these five key elements as you lay the foundation for leadership in your organization. Then remember Mother Teresa’s quote: “Do not wait for leaders; Do it alone, person to person.” The key to leadership is not to just lead, but to inspire others to deliver extraordinary results by achieving more than they thought possible.


Tom Feeney is the president and CEO of Safelite Group Inc., a multifaceted auto glass and claims management service organization founded in 1947. Tom freely shares his email and enjoys hearing from customers, associates and business professionals at [email protected].