Leadership Qualities (Series 1, 7/100): Influence

What is influence?

As a leader, probably a future one, it’s important to have the ability to influence people. To influence someone is to guide them in a certain direction that is beneficial for them and for people around them.

As a leader, you have a compelling vision of the future, and you use your influence to mobilize people around this vision. You inspire them so they follow your footsteps. You show them what is possible if they go down the direction you are setting for them. You motivate them to make those possibilities a reality.

You energize people so that they fulfill their dreams and get a sense of purpose, accomplishment and satisfaction about what they have done.

The importance of influence

Leaders lead by influence and inspiration, not by control and manipulation. So for you as an aspiring leader, it’s important to learn the skill of influence. You can start right after you finish reading this blog post. Ask yourself, who can you influence today so you can guide them in a certain direction towards a certain vision?

Maybe a colleague of yours, who is also fed up with a boring 9 to 5 job and he is ready to go on a new business venture with you?

The best leaders are teachers, mentors, and role-models, they use influence to accomplish the majority of their work. Let’s think about it for a moment, if you are playing the tough guy with your future employees and you know it’s not you, well that behavior won’t be aligned with who you truly are. Your future employees won’t be happy either because they are being controlled.

Influence, will position you as a great leader and will motivate your future staff to gladly do their work and give their best.

The influence will help you in good times as well as the challenging ones. In a challenging time, with a lot of constraints, on your own, you will be able to go only that far. But with some people who signed up for your vision, who are fulfilled by their work, who are truly happy to be around you, the game will change and you will win.

So if you have a big vision, a dream to make true, an ambitious goal to achieve, in life and business, influence is a must. Once you master the skill of influencing the mind, the heart, and the soul, there will be nothing you and your future team won’t achieve.

A key element to influence: Trust

Why trust is essential? Because if they don’t trust you, they won’t be easily influenced by you and if they aren’t influenced, they aren’t doing their best.

But you need them to do their best because when they are doing their best, they are continuously trying to reach a higher level of their potential, this means they are growing, and when people are growing, they are happy.

They trust you when you are honest. You say what you mean and you mean what you say. They trust you when you act with integrity. You say that you are going to do task A on Monday morning, you actually make it a priority and do it on time. So you do what you have promised.

They trust you when you share your beliefs with them, they trust you when they know you and like you as a leader. They trust you when you guide them through risk and change and you do your best to keep them in a safe environment.

They also trust you when you understand them, you appreciate them, you help and guide them.

They will trust you as a leader if you know how to weigh authority with empathy, urgency with patience. They respect your word and they know that you understand how they are feeling in a certain situation.

Trust is a key to be able to influence people.

What is the result of effectively influencing people?

When you are able to influence people in a positive way. You will tap into their full commitment, capabilities and creativity. They are happy and fulfilled and everyone is a winner.

People will sign up to your vision, they will give it their all to help you make it a reality.

Success is a team work, it’s hard to succeed on your own. Behind every success there was a certain number of committed people who believed in the leader and they gave him/her their all.

So, what are you going to do today to improve your ability to influence? Think about the smallest action you can take and do it. Don’t wait.

Do you want to influence your colleague to start discussing a new side project alongside your jobs?

Hope you enjoyed this blog,

Have a great day,

Elie Abboud

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