Leadership provides the opportunity to influence others. It is a great joy, but also an incredible responsibility. Influence is the ability to move others from where they are now into something new. However, influence is not a one-way transaction. We are influencing others and being influenced on a daily basis. When we race through life distracted and busy, we forfeit the opportunity to intentionally influence others. Thus, we must be intentional about what we take in and how we impact those around us.
People are always tuned in and observing our actions, words, and attitudes whether we realize it or not. We can choose intentional influence, and whether our influence is positive or negative.
As leaders, we cannot settle for influence that is good enough. Great opportunities and exceptional work are never born from settling for good enough. So, how do we have influence that far surpasses good-enough thinking?
1. Make the choice to be a positive influence. Great leaders understand that influence is equally as important as reputation. Reputation precedes us, and it creates an expectation of what is to come from you. Influence generates reputation and is what’s left behind after others interact with you. It’s the piece of you that you leave with others and the sentence that comes to mind when others think of you. Having a positive impact and leaving others with a positive sentiment is a conscious choice.
2. Accept responsibility for your influence. Good leaders understand their ability to influence others. Great leaders go beyond this and also accept responsibility for what is influencing them. They guard their intake and are vigilant about how they are being influenced. They are intentional about their inner circles and what information they consume. This is critical because, ultimately, we give out what we take in. We reproduce what we are.
3. Aspire to inspire. Great leaders are inspiring, especially during challenging times. They are able to bring out the best in others and instill hope that draws people in. Great leaders are equally inspiring as they are inspired themselves. They know the purpose that drives them and tap into their mission to motivate others.
Influence is a two-way street. How others pour into you will dictate how you pour into others. Being intentional about your influence takes you, and those around you, from good enough to great.
Sourced from Kevin Brown at leadercast.com
Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less. – John Maxwell