How important is influence in leadership?

How to influence others?

A while ago I was listening to talk from John C. Maxwell. He said, “Everything rises and falls on Leadership. Leadership is one word influence. ”

I would have to agree with him in many ways. Everyone one of us despite of our title has influence.

What is your influence like?

A former manager of mine’s favorite quote was, “If you are leaning you better be cleaning.”  She would then follow it up with grabbing a cleaning cloth and start cleaning counters etc. Months later I would hear myself saying those same words.

Whether  its’s over your staff, your co-workers, your family or your friends you have influence.

The other day at the grocery store, a mom and her child were at the checkout in front of me. The cashier gave the mother the total. The young child, who coulnd’t have been older than 4 years tells the cashier, “Do you think money grows on trees?”, the cashier, couldn’t hold back her chuckle, and asked, ” Where did you learn that? ” “Mommy”..

Think about the last time you had a not so good day and walked into your home carrying the baggage from the day. How did your mood influence your household?

Whether we like it or not we all have influence. The question is how are you influencing?

Here are 4 Leadership principles to gain influence the right way.

  1. Be consistent– Don’t be an emotional roller coaster-Are you the person that others have to walk on egg shells around? Why is that? Is it because you are inconsistent. The pace of the team is dictated by the leader.
  2. Let others in– Everyone would rather watch a movie about some struggling and coming out a victor. Don’t be afraid to call on your own mistakes to show the way. Be willing to get in the trenches and get to know others and allow them to get to know you. . You’ve got to get out of your own world, and into theirs to influence them. Today, people are saying, “Don’t TELL me. . . SHOW me!” Here’s what I know about influencing others . . . if you try to TELL people what’s right, they won’t listen. If you get into their lives and SHOW them, they’ll hear you!
  3. Be willing to be the example and lead others in the right direction. –Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Recently I met a shoeshine guy in Chicago- He had an infectious attitude. He was even bold enough to say that he is the best shoe shine guy in the city. I asked him, “Why the great attitude? “ He said, “Every day we all have a choice of what we are going to do. It does no good to complain about things. If you don’t like what you are doing then quit. Otherwise zip your lip and put on a happy face. Because you do have choice.”
  1. Have strong beliefs and values-This part is not easy at times. This takes guts. It also means you won’t win  a popularity contest always either. However, your strong beliefs may give someone else the courage to stand up as well.

So if you want to influence your family, friends, co-workers, children. . . you’ve got to start by being the right kind of person yourself.

 Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” –Robert F. Kennedy

Equip, Educate, Empower, and Encourage others to become better leaders!

Tony Jalan

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