What does it mean to be a leader? Among all the ideas and writing about leadership, three aspects stand out - people, influence, and goals. In other words, Leadership is the ability to influence people towards achieving a goal.
The ability to influence is an important leadership skill. To influence is to have an impact on the behaviours, attitudes, opinions and choices of others. Influence is not to be confused with power or control. It’s not about controlling people to get your way. It’s about understanding what motivates people's commitment and using that knowledge to achieve performance and positive results.
The good news is that being a leader and influencing others is not genetic. Anyone can learn and develop the ability to be a leader of influence.
Here are some key points that can help you increase your influence as a leader.
Be Someone That Others Can Trust
People like to listen, support and follow leaders that they can trust. You can build trust by:
Having the skills or capability to perform your job well. People tend to trust those who know what they are doing and are actually good at it too. Seek more training and development if you lack the necessary skills.
"Walking your talk". When you say you are going to do something, you better do it! This is about being honest and having integrity. If for some reason, you need to delay a commitment or promise, let people know in advance and set a new date.
Achieving Results. This is about leading by example through your ability to complete what you say you will do. People trust and will listen to those who can actually prove and achieve results. Your results speak louder than words.
Involve People And Show That You Care
If you want to influence others, they need to feel involved. Ask people about their thoughts on important decisions that will affect them. You will also need to show that you are genuinely listening to them too because when people feel involved and heard, they will be more committed towards achieving a goal.
Another way you can influence another person is to understand and show that you care about what their needs, motivations, and values are. When people see that you sincerely care about what matters to them then they will tend to listen or support you because you have their best interest in mind.
Share Your Passion
Passion is so important because it gives you the energy to serve and inspire others. The great quality about passion is that it can be contagious. Passion is not something you can fake. Your passion must be real and authentic. If a leader is not truly passionate about what they are doing, why should anyone else care? Passion comes as result of understanding and believing in your mission and vision. People admire leaders who have a vision and that they are able to communicate that vision to them.
What else would add to this list?