The Art of Influence
Influence: to move or impel a person to a particular action.
Whether you are a parent, teacher, politician, pastor or business leader; your ability to lead will be directly related to your ability to have influence on those following you. History has given us great examples of influential leaders. For example, Dr. Martin Luther King influenced millions with his ability to articulate his dream of racial equality. Billy Graham influenced millions with his passion to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Men like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have influenced the way we live our daily lives. I could go on, but you get the point. There have been many great leaders that have had a major influence on the world. So, what does it take to be an influential leader?
Here are 3 key elements that all great influential leaders exhibit:
1) Modeling - Great leaders model the behaviors they desire to see in others. As the saying goes, "Leaders lead by example". Leadership is built on trust. By modeling the actions you desire, you will build a level of trust with your people that will enable you to have an increased level of influence with them. There is no greater example of the power of modeling than that of parenting. Your children watch every move you make and ultimatley will duplicate those actions themselves. The question for you as a leader is...are you modeling positive or negative behaviors?
2) Motivating - How you communicate with your people will determine your level of influence on them as well. My mentor, John C Maxwell wrote a book on the subject called, "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect". You have to do more than just communicate, you must connect with your people in a way that moves them emotionally. Check out the article I wrote entitled, "P.R.A.I.S.E. Your People", for ideas on how to connect for influence.
3) Mentoring - Have you ever had a mentor? If so, think about that person and why you look to them for guidance and advice. Most likely this person makes you feel important, they listen when you talk and they have been where you are trying to go. You can be that person to your people. Mentoring will require that you build meaningful relationships with you people. The stronger the relationship, the stronger your influence will be.
As a leader, influence will be the difference maker for you. With influence you will shine as a leader, and without it...good luck!
To Your Success!