Are you intentional with your influence? Do you struggle to know how to develop it?
Each one of us has the ability and opportunity to impact people. It shows up in direct lines of leadership, where people report directly to us, and it shows up in indirect ways with peers and co-workers. We are all influencing someone no matter our title or status. However, without intention our potential for impact may never reach its full potential or may even have negative impact. We must learn how to develop our influence; its effectiveness is directly related to our ability to accomplish our mission and goals.
Recently, Peyton Manning spoke to our Leadercast audience about leading with boldness and bravery. He encouraged leaders to be courageous in their leadership, and taught that in order to do so one must be prepared for what’s to come. The truth is, you can’t be fully prepared for the challenges of accomplishing a goal without the ability to influence others.
Many leaders understand the fact that they have influence, but are unsure of how to grow it to be more effective. With some inspiration from Peyton Manning, here are a few positive influence builders that can be applied to any situation.
- Intense Preparation: Nothing can kill your influence like appearing unprepared or unknowledgeable. The time it takes to prepare well will always be worth the investment. In fact, Rudy Giuliani, another 2015 Leadercast speaker, encouraged everyone to prepare four hours for a one-hour talk. Good preparation also eliminates a level of fear for the leader that could potentially have negative effects on their influence.
- Earn Respect: No matter a leader’s past experiences or accomplishments, one must take time to build the respect of the team. This means taking a step back and listening well. Listening will communicate a sincere care for the group and understanding that there is still more to learn. Nothing goes further in earning respect than a humble willingness to learn from those around us.
- Invest in Relationships: A leader cannot positively influence their team toward a goal without deep, trusting relationships. Trust within a group grows from a willingness of the leader to put in the work and genuinely serve others. Influence grows out of a heart for service.
- Build your Network of Mentors: Investing in relationships should also include mentors. Having a group of trusted advisors around you can help you keep proper perspective and encourage you when needed. We all need a mentor to help us see when we’re falling short and when we have great potential for influence that we may not see for ourselves. Sometimes we simply need the encouragement of others to bravely step out and lead.
If you’re interested in more practical ways to build your influence you might be interested in studying Esther. Esther found herself in a position of great influence without any training or background to help her do it well. Her story will help you learn how to increase and expand your influence to positively impact others.
What will you do to build your influence and use it well?
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