By @SimonCocking review of the Inspired Leader: How leaders can discover, experience and maintain their inspiration by Andy Bird available from Amazon here.

Being inspired can be a magnificent, invigorating feeling. But it’s also one that we know surprisingly little about. Does it happen by chance? Are all forms of inspiration the same? Can we influence how and when we feel inspired?

These are searching questions, particularly for people who take on the responsibilities and challenges of leadership. Given the tumultuous state of the world today, effective leadership throughout our organizations and communities has never been more important. Equally though, there has also never been greater pressure on leaders to perform and to provide inspirational leadership for their people and teams.

If individuals are to step up and succeed in inspiring others, their first priority must be to discover the inspiration they need for themselves. The Inspired Leader helps them do just that.

The book is based on extensive new research, conducted in association with Henley Business School, into the real life experiences of leaders from many different walks of life. Drawing on the latest behavioural science, Andy Bird explains how inspiration is actually experienced by people in positions of leadership. He also examines how they maintain it over time despite the many obstacles and challenges they face.

This is an interesting book in that it looks to consider the traditional questions of leadership from a deeper, more holistic point of view. His interviews with various industry and sport leaders aim to dig deeper, and look at why they succeeded, what inspired them, and how they motivated others too. These interviews help to make the book insightful, personal, and more than just a theoretical approach to leadership. As modern day life grows more complex, and more of what we can do can be automated new books like this one illustrate that good leaders in the future will be ones that can deeply empathise, understand and relate to their team members. As we have mentioned before, this does mean at times it can feel like the line between management insights, and what were ‘new age mantras’ can feel increasingly blurred, but perhaps that is what 21st century leadership will require.

As a book to help give you a roadmap to what inspired leadership might look like for 2018 and beyond then this is a good read, and it’s also great to get behind the myth of inspiring leaders and self aware people like Paul O’Connell to learn more about what drove them to their own great heights.

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