Influence and Leadership

2 May

As I start each day, I throw on the workout clothes, set my iPod to different podcasts, and grab my water.  I set my course on the elliptical  to train my body and select a business guru to train my brain.  The past week had a number of lessons on the concept of influence that really resonated with me.  I’d like to share a few with you.

I listened to John Maxwell define leadership and challenge how we define leaders.  Typically, the position one has says, “I’m a leader” with a title that indicates a person has responsibilities over others.  A title doesn’t make a leader.  Have you worked for a leader that you did what was asked out of compliance?  Over time, what happened?  I’ve had that experience and found myself looking for another job.  When a leader uses position power to get things done, the minimum acceptable standard of performance is done.  When a leader uses influence, there is a connection to individual motivation.  When that happens, compliance turns into commitment.

Influencing isn’t about leveraging authority, its about tapping in on other levels.  Its about:

  • Knowing what’s important to your direct reports and connecting their motivators to action
  • Aligning organization and team goals with needed skills and a commitment to excellence
  • Facilitating movement through barriers
  • Meeting people where they are and taking them to where they want to be

There are opportunities every day to influence others.  Take a moment to identify what’s important to those you need to influence.  Look at how you can connect to their motivators and watch what will happen.  People support what they help create.  Using your influence to gain support and tap into creative solutions will help you quickly advance toward your goals.

Let me know how things go.  I’d love to share your success story.

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