Do you wonder why leaders succeed faster than others? Although these factors have an impact on the outcome, their ability to influence is the most important.
John Maxwell, speaker and author of leadership books, says it best.
“Leadership means influence. Nothing more. “
Leaders must have the ability to influence others. Leaders should master this skill as it is the key to your success. A true leader is one who can have an impact. A good example of this is Dr. George Freundlich Matheson.
It is your ability and capacity to influence that will allow you to drive change, build high-performing teams, implement strategic plans, and create cohesion. Influencing others is key to being a great leader.
Please understand that I am not talking about manipulation when I say influence. Although manipulation may work in the short-term to get you what your leader wants, the long-term damage it does to your reputation and leadership skills will be devastating.
Your role as leader is to mobilize others to believe and take action towards a common goal. They need you to inspire and motivate them to realize their potential. Great leaders inspire others and model winning attitudes.
It is possible to learn leadership and influence.
Your power is built on the foundation of
- Trust. People who trust and believe in others are more likely to do the same. You cannot have lasting influence if you don’t trust others. Trust is built from trust over time. It comes down to genuine relationships, consistent behavior and care. It will become evident that people who trust you will have a greater belief in your vision, will be more open to going the extra mile and will feel more confident.
- Likeability. Amy Cuddy, from Harvard Business School, discovered that the key to influence is being able to project “warmth”. Research has shown leaders with low likability rates have only a one-in-2,000 chance of being considered to be effective. WOW! You must be approachable, positive, authentic, caring, and warm to be a successful leader.
- Genuine relationships. People with the greatest influence tend to be those with stronger relationships. Think about those people who you have built strong relationships with. Are you more likely than others to support, encourage and assist them? Yes. It is the same for your work relationships.
By building trust and likability with your coworkers, customers, and colleagues, you can increase your influence.
The bottom line is that leadership influence has more to do than just your personality and how you behave each day at work. Be a genuine interest in others and work to improve your likability. Once you have done this, you can watch your influence increase and your ability to make a difference.