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3 Steps To Grow Your Influence


"The key to successful leadership today is influence not authority.”
– Kenneth Blanchard

Influence. Persuade. Convince. Sway. Engage. Motivate…. Your team. Your organization. Your community. Your relationships. And first and foremost – yourself.

How do you use your leadership voice to influence get the desired outcomes, to realize your vision and mobilize a crowd?

Influence is not about your title: CEO. Manager. Parent. Owner. VP. Supervisor. You don’t need a title to influence. You need confidence in your ability to set a vision and rally your tribe around that vision.

Influence is not about speaking louder or shouting your opinions. That only makes you look desperate or crazy…not persuasive, and certainly not influential. Very often, those in power are not the ones with the greatest influence.

At a recent Leadership Mastermind group, we brainstormed the essence of Influence. The adage that traditional sources of power are critical elements of influence prevailed in this group. This was a sure sign that the word on the street about influence has not bought into current leadership theory. In more recent leadership studies the evidence is moving away from the carrot and stick sources of power and influence. The evidence is favouring the true nature of influence to be a more subtle, but forceful attribute in leaders.

Research has shown that some of the most successful influencers have a quiet voice which is used as a persuasive force not only for their own needs but for the needs of others. Becoming a captivating leader who can influence means having a calm yet strong and confident tone so that your impact is understood and respected.

How do you build your Influence?

1. Become grounded and self aware: Develop a very clear framework of who you
are and what you stand for as a leader. Effective–leaders know how to adjust their
style to fit the diverse individuals and different types of teams they work with. You
will know what to adjust and when to adjust, when you know yourself and have a
keen understanding of how you come across to others in different circumstances.
Knowing who you are as a leader: Your strengths, your weaknesses, your ethics,
your judgments, your preferences, your reactions, your insights…provides you the
grounding to establish trust, credibility and influence within all of your relationships.

2. You need to cultivate a trusted power base. Networking is as relevant today as it
was thirty years ago. No one person has all of the answers or all of the ideas. The
larger you build your community as a leader, the more opportunity you will have to
influence and be influenced.

3. Learn effective communication methods. Even the greatest of ideas will die in
transit if no-one supports them. A key part of influence is strong communication
skills. The essence of great communication is understanding the two-way nature
of the activity.

In our coaching assignments the first assignment is to develop a leader’s dashboard
with your core personal value framework to be grounded and confident. The framework
then delves into all other aspects of developing a power base to support your growth,
communication styles to engage and influence, and a memorable professional brand.

As John Maxwell Stated so eloquently: “True leadership cannot be awarded,
appointed, assigned or mandated. It comes only from influence.”