Each day, we, as leaders, influence our teams. We influence them with our passion, work ethic, and desire to progress. We can either be a positive influence or a negative one. The choice is ours.
Great leaders understand the importance of positively influencing others. They help them grow and reach their goals. They communicate well and teach their employees to feel a sense of ownership. More importantly, they are authentic. They lead by example. Influential leaders motivate everyone to become their best.
Positive influence is powerful.
Negative influence is also powerful. But instead of motivating towards growth, it fosters distrust and resentment. Leaders who choose to dictate, command, and manipulate others have dissatisfied employees and low retention. When fear is in the room, teams are less likely to work as hard, and employees do not strive to be their best. Why should they?
So, how do you become a leader who influences positively?
Choose a path that allows you to empower your teams!
- Establish credibility. Successful influencers are authentic. They "walk the walk." They are open, honest, trustworthy, and motivating. And most importantly, they share their passion!
- Build a connection. Learn about them as a person, teach them, and guide them.
- Build trust. Before you can expect trust, you must prove yourself to be trustworthy.
- Give feedback. Your teams need to hear when they are doing well and how they can improve.
- Give clear expectations. If you have the desired outcome, provide a clear path and clear expectations. Don’t be vague about the result you want.
- Show accountability. Do what you say you are going to do. Employees will mimic your behavior.
- Be available to them if they need help learning or have questions.
- Be compassionate.
- Don’t ignore conflict on your team. Deal with it while the issues are small.
When you practice what you preach, people listen, respect you, and follow you.
John Quincy Adams maybe said it best, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, do more, and become more, you are a leader."