If you want to lead well you must be able to influence others in a positive way. In this episode, I’ll be sharing some insight on 3 ways you can be a more influential leader. A leader is an individual who uses his or her credibility and capability to influence people within a specific context to accomplish a goal. In their book, Extreme Ownership the authors say: “Leadership requires getting a diverse team of people in various groups to execute highly complex missions to achieve strategic goals.” There is a lot contained in that sentence. To implement real change, to drive people to accomplish something truly complex or difficult you can’t make people do those things. You must lead them. It’s necessary to learn how to solve leadership challenges, improve communication, and run a more effective team.
Two Types of Leaders
Leadership Expert Brian Tracy reminds us in his book “Leadership” that there are two types of leaders. He says:
“The first type is the most important or foundational; the transactional leader. A transactional leader is a person who gets things done with and through others. The second type of leader we need is a transformational leader. This is a leader who is the path maker. This is a leader who is a visionary. This is a leader who motivates, uplifts inspires and empowers people to perform at levels far beyond anything they’ve ever done before. The reason we need leadership so badly in our institutions and businesses is because the people working in today’s businesses and institutions are far more difficult and demanding far more analytical and far more selfish than they’ve ever been before. They want to know more than ever “why should I work for you”. One major reason people go work for any organizations because of leadership. Leadership that comes from a position or authority is called ascribed leadership it is short-lived. The only type of leadership that is lasting is where people decide that they’re going to follow directions, the guidance, and the vision of someone else. In other words the voluntary form of following marks the best leaders today.”
But, How Do You Gain Influence As A Leader?
A leader is one who influences people. But, that influence is based on the leader’s credibility. So, those potential followers are making a conscious or unconscious decision to follow you based on their evaluation of your credibility. And, that evaluation determines the extent and impact that you can lead effectively. So your credibility plays a huge part of being successful.
Three Sources of Credibility
There are three sources of credibility that you as a leader must have in order to be successful in the long-run. Your influence is gained or diminished in direct proportion to your credibility.
#1 Personal Character.
In order to be successful as a leader having good character is a must. People more readily trust and follow leaders who are ethical in their personal and professional lives. While some may follow an unethical leader, usually there is another underlying motive for their loyalty. Having a reputation of fairness, timeliness, courteous and ethics builds trust and loyalty.
People follow leaders who have a good grasp of what needs to be done and possess the skills to know how to do it. Nothing will undermine your leadership quicker than having a title, without haveing the “know-how”. If you find yourself thrust into a position of leadership without having some of the skills and “know-how”, you must learn the essential skills necessary quickly. This means you’ll have to facilitate and delegate as much as possible and borrow all the brains you can from others more experienced than yourself. If not, you’ll lose respect, get off to a slow start and your progress will be severely limited in the near future. Be honest about what you need help with and glean from all those knowledgeable people around you. It will help you gain respect and build your team quicker.
#3 Clarity and Focus
As a leader, you aren’t nebulously affecting that that follow you. You must first develop a clear vision of what you are trying to accomplish and create a focus that eliminates the things that distract you and your team from accomplishing the goal. Get rid of time wasters, learn to prioritize and say no to things that lead you away from making progress. Keep it focused by coupling exactness with simplicity. Great leaders are those who know where they’re going and can help their team visualize it.