You may aspire to be a leader or you may already have a leadership role.
Regardless of what your official role is, what we know is that you influence and have an impact on people every day. And you are therefore a leader. In fact, many of the most influential leaders in the world are informal leaders. They are the people that that others listen to, and also feel heard and seen by.
Leadership is not really something you learn in a classroom. Yes, you can learn useful principles, acquire relevant models and tools that can help you practice leadership, but real leadership development occurs when you start to apply your knowledge in your daily work situations. It’s how you act and behave that builds your leadership effectiveness and influence.
Yes, leadership is most definitely about influencing others. To influence is to have an impact. And impact happens through how you behave towards others.
What impact are you having? And what impact could you have?
Being leaders ourselves, and having worked with many hundreds of leaders around the world, here are some of our observations of what the best, most influential leaders do. They:
- Take an interest in and care about other people
- See the uniqueness in each person and how they can contribute to the team and the organisation
- Listen attentively to others
- Stay 100% present in the moment
- Involve others and invite them to contribute and participate in things that impact them
- Recognise when people do a good job
- Hold themselves and others accountable
- Practice what they preach
- Convey a clear sense of purpose and vision for the team
- Are generous in sharing their knowledge, skills, ideas and wisdom
- Are authentic, they stay true to themselves, making the most of their unique strengths and capabilities
This is not an exhaustive list, but it gives a number of pointers on how influence works.
We would love to hear from you.
What are the best experiences you’ve had with leaders around you? How did they behave and how did it impact you? What great leadership have you seen?
Please share your thoughts, observations and comments below. Thank you.