Of all of the traits that leaders possess, I find the least understood and cultivated is the power of their influence. As a leader, it is imperative that you be aware of how your voice resonates, your actions motivate, and your dreams instigate change that challenges others to break from the status quo and stretch their boundaries. You may not have asked for this responsibility, but it comes with the position. Embracing this can produce long term positive benefits for you and those fortunate enough to fall under your scope of influence.
I recently spent a great deal of time looking at the influencers in my life. I am very grateful for my current position, but reminded daily that I wasn’t supposed to be here. When I turn on my computer, the picture that I see is of a 10’ wide white trailer. It is a picture of my childhood home. I put it there to remind me where I started. The position I am in and the confidence and trust placed in me, by all logic, should not have happened. In fact, it would not have happened without the influence of key individuals who saw in me what I could not see in myself.
Influence is defined as – the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something. As a leader, not only should you cultivate this ability, you have the responsibility to share your insights and invest in the development of others. As parents, we take this responsibility seriously; why not in the workplace. There are several benefits of cultivating your influence. Here are three:
- A motivated workplace- If you are using your influence to positively impact your employees, they will GET to come to work verses HAVE to.
- A stable workplace – It is easy in today’s work environment to leave a job. In fact, it is expected. University graduates are told to expect 5-7 job changes in their career. It is much more difficult to leave someone who has invested in your success through deliberate influence.
- An empowered workplace – Influencers naturally inspire greater performance from their team. Knowing they are being watched helps both the influencer and those watching. The accountability and positive reinforcement inspired by this type of leadership results in a workplace where the leader can safely delegate key responsibilities.
As I close this blog, I must remind you that as a leader, you ARE currently influencing your team. The question is, “Are you influencing them to perform a task, earn a check, or aspire to greatness?” The choice, as always, is up to you.
Be sure to read my article in PFR (Premier Flooring Retailer) – "The Power of Influence," where I will share the impact of some key influencers in my own life…