Leadership is Influence

It‘s a leader’s ability to influence people that make him/her a good or a bad leader. Influence is about moving people from resistance to compliance to commitment.

So where is the tipping point? Great leader are able to influence people, with the people knowing and are willing to be influenced by him/her. The reason? Because they know this is a leader who influence positively with the people in mind.

Influence is more than just leaders having strong communication skills and charismatic personalities. Unless you know how to influence people, you cannot become a successful leader. After all, leadership is influence.

A manager may not necessarily be a leader. In fact, you don’t need a position of authority to be a leader. As long as you can convince people to believe in you and follow you, you are a leader. There are certain traits you find in most successful leaders. These include integrity, honesty, confidence and optimism along with a willingness to take risks. If you have these traits, you can be a leader. But without influence, all these traits will get you nowhere.

This is why it is crucial that you learn to apply the principles of influence. A common mistake people make is limiting their leadership qualities to the workplace. Good leaders break boundaries, not adhere to them. If you learn how to apply the principles of influence, the sky is the limit as far as your leadership is concerned. You cannot only influence the people who work with you, above you and below you, but all the parties connected to your business. This is the hallmark of a true business leader.

The importance of influence for a leader can be understood by the fact that you can get a large group of people to observe your command if you have it. If you aren’t influential, you would find it hard to get one person to do as you say. In the workplace, this is a priceless quality. You can take ownership of projects and get the personnel available to you to complete it to the best of their abilities and within the prescribed deadline.

If you feel intimidated by a superior or a colleague, you cannot be a successful leader. You have to be influential enough that you can influence competitors, suppliers, partners, clients and even other leaders. Naturally, the extent of your influence would be greater within the organization you work for. There, you have to prove your leadership skills by your ability to influence subordinates, colleagues and superiors as well as your counterparts in other departments.

To reiterate the point, you don’t have to be in a position of authority to be a leader. Regardless of your current designation and job status, you can be a leader. If there has been an instance where your opinion led to a change in the organization or influenced a decision, it shows that you have exercised influence. That is exactly what you have to do, albeit to a larger extent, to be a good leader.

Article by Mr Joseph Wong, Founding Director and Behavioral Transformation Coach of TrainingGearAsia Pte Ltd. He is the author of “The Power Science of Influence”, and an expert in harnessing the science of influence to transform behavior at work, sales, team and leadership. He is the author of “The Power Science of Influence”. For more information, visit www.traininggearasia.com or email influence@traininggearasia.com

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