Leadership at its essence is influence. There are five principles relating to leading others. We will address three in this post and the next two in Part II.
1.) Influence Through Your Example
As Jack Welch says, “Before you became a leader success was all about improving yourself, as a leader success is all about growing other people.” and Covey follows this up by stating “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.”
Whether you like it or not, your behavior, your actions, your attitude and your approach are being watched and critiqued by your team. The pressure is immense as studies tell us that about half of all managers / leaders fail or derail.
Remember the key elements of your example:
1.) Your behavior represents the acceptable
2.) Your performance represents the standard
3.) Your presence represents the tone
Rank those three from best to worst, which one is your strength and which one needs enhancing?
2.) Influence Through Your Conversations
Susan Scott said it best “Relationships are built one conversation at a time”
There are five types of conversation:
1.) Conversations That Clarify (Beginnings)
2.) Conversations That Close (Endings)
3.) Conversations That Confront (Performance / Behavior)
4.) Conversations That Commission (Delegation)
5.) Conversations That Continue (Strengthen Relationship)
I challenge you to consider, which type of conversation you are having and plan ahead. Too often we do not prepare and our influence is tarnished.
3.) Influence Through Your Vision
Do you recall the great image of college coaches and players cutting down the basketball after winning the national championship? That is the image of victory. This is a common vision coaches place before their players to help them pursue the greatest of goals.
You cannot effectively lead without vision. Here are 4 key elements to your vision:
1.) Your vision is the antithesis of what you dislike
2.) It answers: “What do you want to be true one year from now?”
3.) It expresses your deepest interest
4.) It defines your preferred reality
You influence through your example, your conversations and your vision. If one of these is missing, it is like running with a broken leg. All of these elements must be deployed to have the greatest of influence and cause the greatest of inspiration.
After all isn’t that what our people want? To be inspired and challenge to pursue something greater than themselves.