What does 'Leadership is Influence' really mean?
Updated: Mar 7, 2019
Most of us understand that we actually do lead by example.
Gone are the days of 'listen to me carefully, but don’t watch me too closely’. People want to be inspired, guided, coached and served because that’s the modern day leader. Someone who is committed to leading a vision that others are compelled to follow.
As we lead by example, we send the biggest most potent message of all: we unconsciously reveal our intent and our values... we influence. Even when we don’t intend to influence, the small micro-moments of interaction, conversation, challenge, absence and support sends an incredibly powerful message about who we are, as leaders. That message is our influence. It's what people feel and what people remember most.
It's not the big speech, although that counts. It's not the public victory, awards or accolades or even the reputation. It’s the small but significant influence we carry with us always. It's how we treat people. It's how we use our mental resources and embrace challenges. It’s the little things.
Leadership is Influence means to hone in on the small details. Leadership is Influence means to develop an obsessive attention towards aligning the fundamental personal developments with your mighty mission. If you want to lead 5 or 500 people, your strategy will be different but fundamentally, your influence is your influence. And that matters. Because you can control it. Invitation:
“What influence do I have right now? Send this question to 3 people whose perspective you value and ask them for honesty.
Journal: Who are you and what does that likely say to your team/followers?
Discuss with mentor: What’s 1 small change could I make, that would increase my influence?
You Influence: Everything we do sends a message / has an influence. Take a look at the Communication Model by Albert Mehrabian . A model created on the back of some extensive research into human communication, to demonstrate the types of communication and the weight on each type. Content 7%, Tone 38% and Body Language 55%. We arrive at the punchline: you cannot not communicate very quickly. We are always behaving and therefore, we are always influencing. The question becomes what is that influence? And maybe more empowering, what influence would you like to have on your people? Taking ownership of your influence could mean getting intentional about the little things…..the small things. If we are struggling to connect with our family for example (if our influence is that we’re disconnected, busy with work, etc) let us be reminded that it's not the expensive holiday that changes that, but rather the subtle shift in daily influence: it’s the consistent hugs, laughter, presence and relentless focus on ‘you are loved’, regardless.
Those are the small details that give us the advantage, as leaders, to make a difference.