What is Leadership in one word?
Influence- John C Maxwell.
5 years ago I was promoted to Wisconsin division manager of sales! I was officially excited and nervous about my new position. There were many reasons why I was nervous.
- Not knowing the market
- A handful of tenured staff that have been with company longer than me.
- A broken culture
After being in my position for a few months I decided to reach out to influential leaders throughout the company. What was their secret to their success? How were they influential in leading their divisions and regions to high levels of performance?
It all boiled down to one word. What’s the one word to become more influential, in being a better leader, better salesperson, and better professional?
Before I tell what the word is I best be forthcoming and let you in on a secret. You see I suffered from a syndrome called Mr. Fix it ( I still have bouts with it). You may have heard of it. It’s where a person simply hears what you are saying and immediately tries to fix it instead of listening to you completely.
What I learned to be more influential is something you can do immediately.
What is the one word to becoming more influential? Ask. Influential leaders are good at asking and are curious. Asking their staff what they want to accomplish. Asking their superior what they want to accomplish. Asking their prospect what they want. Then once they ask they help those they asked accomplish their ask.
If you want to become a better leader and influencer you must first learn what influences the other person before you can influence them.
Have you stopped to consider for a moment if you are trying to influence others based off what influences you vs. what influences them? One leader told me the best thing you can do is ask your staff what they want accomplish. It actually felt weird and even somewhat corny at first. But in the end it proved to be one of the most valuable things I could have learned.
So if expanding your influence is important to you here are 5 ways to do it.
- Be others centered. Make it not about you. In the all time classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence, Dale Carnegie says show a GENUINE interest in others…Ask them about them,
- Don’t be afraid to ask. – Even ask the top performers what they want to accomplish. But make sure you ask.
- Listen-Listen not to await your turn to be heard but actually listen. Don’t jump to conclusions.
- Talk less about yourself. When I worked in the radio business I was taught that everyone is tuned into one station. WIFM. What’s in it for me?
- Reach out to influential people-Iron does sharpen iron. There may be a little voice in your head that is keeping you from reaching out to someone of influence. It may be saying that you are unworthy. That the influential person is too busy. (This was the racket in my head.) Through my experience if you are sincere and truly want to grow and learn influencer people will make time for you. Try it! Invite them out for coffee etc… your treat.
In the words of best selling author Ken Blanchard.
Equip, Educate, Empower, and Encourage others to become better leaders!
Thank you for reading! Want more?
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