How do leaders inspire people to do hard things? Why do people follow them? Successful leaders love what they do. They have the ability to inspire and motivate. They have enthusiasm.

Simon Sinek is one of the most enthusiastic leaders I know (I know him only through his books and listening to his Ted Talks). He teaches people and companies to focus on their why and build out the how and what from there.

Simon’s enthusiasm for building great companies and doing great things is contagious. One of his most famous quotes paints the picture of enthusiasm: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

The Right Attitude

So how does a leader’s enthusiasm drive success? How do they take the energy and enthusiasm and make something great? It comes down to attitude.

Your attitude will determine your direction. Successful people are passionate about their work and the activities in which they engage. To the ancient Greeks, enthusiasm meant inspiration or divine influence. In modern English it denotes intense enjoyment, interest, or approval.

For successful people, enthusiasm is a key driver of passion and achievement. It comes from within. The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said, “Your energy and enjoyment, drive and dedication, will stimulate and greatly inspire others.” It will not only inspire others but it will inspire you to reach to new heights.

Author Augustine “Og” Mandino said, “Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles.

Whether you’re enthusiastic or not is a choice.

Here are three ways you can cultivate your influence:

1. Create the Vision

Look introspectively at your organization and your own behavior. Are you leading your team in a positive direction? Make it happen. Teach your people how to be successful in their jobs.

2. Share Your Optimism

You are the leader. You are the one on the front lines who sees the big picture for your organization. Don’t keep it to yourself. Share your vision of success. Communicate your optimism through your words and actions. Let them feel your passion.

The team will feed off your energy, your example. They will sense and follow your motives, so keep it positive.

3. Build a Culture of Enthusiasm

The greatest benefit your attitude will provide is a culture of success. Develop your team members. Provide opportunities for them to grow. Give them direction, and create structure and process to channel their growth. Create an environment where people will give their very best efforts.

As you cultivate these behaviors in your own life, you will reap the benefits. Let enthusiasm drive your leadership.

Why is Enthusiasm Important To You?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Would you like to contribute a post?

Michael Hopkin
Michael is an internationally recognized strategist in leadership and technology product management. He trains product managers to lead effectively with confidence, optimism and enthusiasm. You can follow him on Twitter and at Lead on Purpose.