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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Become a Person of Influence

Leading others beyond your position is not easy. If real leadership were easy, everybody would excel at it. Most good leaders believe in themselves and their leadership ability. They are confident that if others would follow them, then the team would benefit and accomplish its goals. So why don’t people follow them? Because they don’t have to. Leadership is influence. If you have neither position nor influence, people will not follow you. And the further outside your organization they are, the less likely they are to let you lead them. That’s why you need to work hard to change your thinking from “I want a position that will make people follow me, to I want to become a person whom people will want to follow.” It’s a fallacy to believe that people would automatically follow you if you were the positional leader. Leaders who have actually been on the top know it doesn’t work that way. Do people follow you know? If they follow you today, then they will follow you tomorrow when you have a better (different) position. But if people don’t follow you where you are currently, then they won’t follow you where you are going either. The only solution to the Influence Challenge is to become the kind of leader other people want to follow. The following lesson illustrates what kind of person that typically is. Many people try to motivate/manipulate others by criticizing them or trying to exercise their power over them. People generally respond by becoming defensive, behaving combatively, or isolating themselves. It has been said, “You cannot antagonize and influence someone at the same time.” If leaders care about each individual as a person, then people respond well to them. The greater the depth of their concern, the broader and longer lasting their influence. Bo Schembechler, the former head coach of the University of Michigan football team said, “Deep down, your players must know that you care about them. This is the most important thing. I could never get away with what I do if the players felt I didn’t care. They know, in the long run, I’m in their corner.” People can sense how you feel about them. They can tell the difference between leaders who are using them for their own gain (manipulators) and those who want to help them succeed (motivators). People warm up to warm people. Once they get to know the heart of someone who cares, they respond well to them. Think of it this way: second mile leaders produce second mile followers. If you go out of your way to care about others and help them, then they will go out of their way to help you when you ask them to. Do you desire to become a person of greater influence? Truth@Life can help. Call 248-396-6255 or email me at curtis.songer@truthatlife.com for a FREE consultation. For more info on help I can provide check out http://truthatlife.com/

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