The Inspired Leader

The Inspired Leader

Before reading ‘The Inspired Leader’ I would have said that ‘Leadership Plain and Simple’ was my leadership bible. I love the simplicity of Steve Radcliffe’s book and its’ FED (Future, Engage, Deliver) framework and have bought dozens of copies over the last decade for those that I have coached and mentored.

The Inspired Leader is a very different type of book. It is longer, harder to read and is a relatively dense blend of academic research and deeply personal stories. Nonetheless I found it to be an incredibly rewarding read.

It’s not about how to inspire others or about finding the inspiration to have breakthrough ideas. It’s about discovering the leadership sweet-spot where you feel ‘energetic, alive and invigorated’ and being able to sustain that state over time.  

Interestingly, Andy Bird describes Steve Radcliffe as a ‘great friend and mentor’ and you can see how his book builds upon Steve’s work, connecting it to more contemporary thinking on leadership purpose.

Whilst I’ve been fascinated by the concept of leadership purpose, I’ve struggled to live out my own in corporate environments that are often dominated by complex matrix structures and the short-term pressures of financial targets.

However, I’ve recently moved from corporate life into brand consulting and this book helped me to realise why I’ve found the change so rewarding.

My move has satisfied the three intrinsic motivations of ‘autonomy, competence and relatedness’, giving me the freedom to plan my own time, the opportunity to focus on what I’m best at and the time to work with people who I admire and like. I just wish I’d read this book a few years ago and figured that out a bit sooner!

Whilst I will continue to recommend ‘Leadership Plain & Simple’ I will definitely recommend ‘The Inspired Leader’ as a highly thought-provoking complementary read.