Must you be a naturally gifted, charismatic leader to inspire your employees to give their all on the job? Truly inspired workers will do that for you regardless of how much charm you have. The bad news is, when employees aren't inspired, you're losing money.
"You'll pay a high price; as much as 30 percent of an uninspired employee's potential energy is left on the table, untapped," says John Thompson, founder and CEO of Human Factors Inc., a San Rafael, California, consulting firm that specializes in helping business leaders tap into employees' discretionary energy.
More concretely, when workers aren't inspired, you're apt to see complacency, declining morale and discouragement, says Ramon Aldag, chair of the management and human resources department at the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Many business owners understand the costs of employee apathy but don't feel they have the charisma to turn these attitudes around. Not to worry: "Charisma is yesteryear's idea of inspirational leadership," says Don Maruska, a business coach in Morro Bay, California. "In fact, charisma can get in the way of building a great company because charismatic leaders too often squelch the creativity of everybody else in the business."