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True leaders know when inspiration is required and how to use it to lead. Being an inspiring leader isn’t about being some guru on a mountain, dispensing platitudes. It’s about finding your own passion, and then breathing it out so others can breathe it in.

When the authors of the thought-provoking book The Work of Leaders asked 13,000 people to rate how inspiring they thought they were, fewer than one in five gave themselves the top score.

Clearly, people who think they’re inspiring are in the minority, yet many leaders also overestimate their ability to rally the troops. Maybe there’s a problem with the definition. “Inspiration” sounds like something esoteric and guru-like, but it comes from the simplest of words: it’s Latin for “breathe in”.

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