I got several notes from people about Are There Influencers in Your Marketing Future? on influence and influencers. Several felt that I made it seem too easy to become an influencer. Actually, I believe it’s easier to be influential today than any other time in our history. How do empowering leaders influence others today?
These ideas are ideas I’ve seen work many, many times. I can’t remember a time where they have not worked. But what if you want to transcend being an influencer and become a person of influence? I have worked with many people who influence our world in so many ways.
From well-respected entrepreneurs to presidents and senators, to astronauts and veterans, teachers and doctors all share this as a foundation to all they do in life. I can’t think of one successful leader who doesn’t understand and live by this core principle. So what is this timeless leadership principle?
These empowering leaders all want to extend their influence by empowering others to grow and achieve their dreams. Here are three ideas that every successful leader I’ve known understands and leverages in growing their influence. These ideas seem simple, almost childlike. That is until you choose to live your life by them. As my father taught me, you can’t dream other peoples’ dreams for them. People need to uncover their own life paths and then find ways to travel on them.
Empowering leaders have a teachable point of view. These men and women lead very complicated lives. They leverage their influence by sharing and teaching their ideas to others who are interested. They have invested large portions of their lives developing their own personal philosophies.
Most see themselves as both teacher and student to the many people who pass through their lives. They ask many questions and are open to discussing many different perspectives on what they believe and know. For some of my earliest clients, their teachable points of view continue to grow and evolve throughout their lifetimes. In some cases, we’ve been together for over 30 years and they continue to grow and astound me, and the world.
Empowering leaders are authentic. I’ve been lucky enough to spend significant time with and interviewing great leaders. Because of the unique status of our relationships I have seen people at their high points and at the most challenging. From reaching for the stars to the death of a loved one. What strikes me about these men and women in these given situations is they are authentically themselves. They work very hard not to be someone else during their lives.
Empowering leaders who want to empower others are authentic. They are consistent in the way they approach life and, sadly, even death. They are very comfortable with who they are. They know their strengths and weaknesses and are not afraid of sharing them with others. Their consistency of purpose allows others to take risks knowing they will be treated fairly in success or in failure.
If you want to empower others you must be yourself no matter what is happening around you. True influence comes when people feel comfortable around you. Your influence comes from being willing to let the other person be who they are even under the most stressful circumstances.
Empowering leaders understand they cannot influence everyone. A certain formula for failure is trying to be all things to all people. Influence comes from understanding what you know and who you are best at inspiring or serving. I’ve noticed most failure comes from failing to understand your own strengths and gifts.
Influence sometimes should be delegated to someone who understands the situation better than you do. Empowering leaders have an extensive set of skills that help them influence others. One key tool is the ability to develop network of people who can help them by being willing to step in when required to empower someone they may not know and will not be able to repay the favor ever.
Finally, empowering leaders influence others by being who they at that time. Sometimes an empowering leader struggles in a given situation. In many cases, it’s just beyond their grasp. They will need to grow more before they can influence others in a given situation.
What makes them true empowering leaders is the ability to ask for help when needed. It’s critical if you hope to influence others that you can ask for help yourself. You are open to being influenced by others with different strengths, gifts, and life experiences.
This leads to the next several blogs. I have several new projects that are about both high performing teams and leveraging technologies. My job over the next several weeks is to provide you some tools and skills that will help you leverage the bigger business trends of 2017.
See you next week.