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Leadership is Influence and Influence is Leadership

mind Mar 07, 2019

When I make this statement, Leadership is Influence and Influence is Leadership, what do I mean? Well, I have experienced many conversations where people say things like, "I am not a leader", or "when I get a leadership position I will learn that". The challenge that I have with this mentality is that we are ALL leaders, whether we have leader in our title or not.

By definition, a leader is someone who has followers and the way you get followers is by influencing them. It is also true that we all influence other people, whether this be intentionally or not, and therefore we are all leaders. Influence is a powerful tool and it can be used positively or negatively. When you master the understanding of people and the positive impact that you can have on their life through your influence, it is powerful.

We grow up being influenced by our parents, teachers, friends, and role models. These people are not all "leaders" in the traditional definition but there is no doubt that they influenced us, and therefore we followed them, right? If your life connects with other people in any way, you are an influencer and by proxy a leader.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who do you influence now?
  • Would you say that these people see you as a leader?
  • What actions do you take to intentionally influence them?
  • Can you see how your mood can influence other people?

As you reflect on these questions you may also be thinking about the people in your life who influence you. Your thoughts will probably drift to your current leader and what influence they have on you. What about your family? Do they influence you and do you influence them? The answer is yes, so the question then becomes: "Am I influencing in the best way?"

Here are some tips that will help you to positively influence others:

  1. Always act with integrity. Integrity build trust and is the foundation of every successful organization and relationship. People do what people see so being acting with integrity is a way of walking the walk and not just talking the talk.
  2. Listen more than you talk. I was always told that we have two ears and one mouth so we should use them in that proportion. The sad truth is that most people talk more than they listen and even when they are not talking, they are usually formulating their answer and therefore they hear but don't listen.
  3. Empower others to do the right thing. I am a big proponent of developing a culture of empowerment. When you empower others it shows that you trust them to make decisions and therefore the level of performance will usually be higher. When people know that you have their back they will go to the ends of the earth for you.
  4. Create a legacy of excellence. This is a big part of my mission statement and I firmly believe that the route to sustained success is to establish a production line of emerging talent. When you empower others and demonstrate the right attributes on a daily basis you will be showing them the expected behavior. The result of this is a desire to excel and when this permeated throughout the organization it is a recipe for success.
  5. Nurture your successor. When you think about your current position, or one from the past, how many people can you identify that appeared to be concerned about developing talent that would take their job? I know that I have experienced this and I can say with 100% certainty that this is a negative belief. You should always be looking to develop a succession plan that will allow you to continue to grow. When your team see that you are prepared to invest your time in them it will create an environment of collaboration and trust.

I find this an intriguing subject and it is a great one for a mastermind session as it generate a lot of thought provoking conversation and questions. These are the type of discussions that we have in my Mastermind Community and I love seeing the "light bulb" moments when people realize how much power they have. You see, not understanding the power that you have can cause a lot of challenges. How many times has an innocent comment been misinterpreted and what was the consequence?

If you would like to help with this topic, either for yourself or your organization, please feel free to reach out to me or you can schedule a free strategy session through this link: Book your free strategy session here.

My aim is to add value and I partner with ambitious professionals to expand their leadership potential with practical solutions that provide predictable growth.

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