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Activity 1: Self-Assessment—Inspiration Quotient

Instructions. Indicate the degree to which you think the following statements are true or false by circling the appropriate number. For example, if a statement is always true, you should circle the 5 next to that statement.

5 = Always true

4 = Generally true

3 = Somewhat true, but with exceptions

2 = Somewhat false, but with exceptions

1 = Generally false

0 = Certainly always false

5 4 3 2 1 0

1. In social situations I have the ability to alter my behavior if I feel that something else is called for.

5 4 3 2 1 0

2. I am often able to read people’s true emotions correctly through their eyes.

5 4 3 2 1 0

3. I have the ability to control the way I come across to people, depending on the impression I wish to give them.

5 4 3 2 1 0

4. In conversations, I am sensitive to even the slightest change in the facial expression of the person I’m conversing with.

5 4 3 2 1 0

5. My powers of intuition are quite good when it comes to understanding others’ emotions and motives.

5 4 3 2 1 0

6. I can usually tell when others consider a joke in bad taste, even though they may laugh convincingly.

5 4 3 2 1 0

7. When I feel that the image I am portraying isn’t working, I can readily change it to something that does.

5 4 3 2 1 0

8. I can usually tell when I’ve said something inappropriate by reading the listener’s eyes.

5 4 3 2 1 0

9. I have trouble changing my behavior to suit different people and different situations.

5 4 3 2 1 0

10. I have found that I can adjust my behavior to meet the requirements of any situation I find myself in.

5 4 3 2 1 0

11. If someone is lying to me, I usually know it at once from the person’s manner of expression.

5 4 3 2 1 0

12. Even when it might be to my advantage, I have difficulty putting up a good front.

5 4 3 2 1 0

13. Once I know what the situation calls for, it’s easy for me to regulate my actions accordingly.

Scoring key: To obtain your score, add up the numbers circled, except reverse the scores for questions 9 and 12. On those, a circled 5 becomes 0, 4 becomes 1, and so forth. Inspirational leaders are defined as those with score of approximately 53 or higher.

Activity 2: Inspiring Ideas about Inspiration

Instructions. Inspiration is a word most commonly used in religion and the arts to describe a wave of emotional stimulation. Its use in leadership is less common.

  1. Review the following quotations.

    A leader inspires his staff to believe in themselves and their ability to succeed long before they recognize their own potential.
    Sherman Hamilton

    Leaders get followers to reach beyond themselves. The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.
    Henry Kissinger

    True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not for the enrichment of the leaders. In combat, officers eat last.

    The institutional leader is primarily an expert in the promotion and protection of values.
    Philip Selznick

    Leadership is the ability to decide what is to be done and then to get others to want to do it.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    The extraordinary appeal of Mao Tse-tung is hard to identify. Some may suggest that it lies less in the man and more in the nature of the Chinese society, for the Chinese do seem compelled to make all their leaders into imperial figures.
    Lucian W. Pye

    Churchill had learned the great truth that to move other people, the leader must first move himself.
    Sir Robert Menzies

  2. Study these quotations and assess their implications for being an inspiring leader. What can you learn about how to inspire others by applying these statements to your practice of leadership?

  3. Write an explanatory essay that summarizes your conclusions.

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