Leading with Influence – It Starts with You
Leadership is influence. It is your ability to get others to own your vision and make it theirs.
Leadership is your ability to influence others towards achieving that vision with all they have got. You are a leader when others can follow your set vision with the uniqueness that they each bring to the table. You are a leader when you are able to provide a firm sense of direction to your team.
Our understanding of leadership has been very much distorted and battered even from childhood. We understand leadership to be the use of force, the imposition of ideas, the expectation that others around us are to run around and serve us, and the expectation that others are suppose to be at our beck and call.
We also understand leadership as an opportunity to grab; grab money, grab land and other common resources, and misuse people for selfish ends.
We understand leadership to be having titles and acquiring even more titles. To many, leadership means driving a better car, dressing better than others, sitting with people who are regarded as “important”, using money to have your way, and rubbing hands with money to achieve your selfish interests.
These are the habits and lifestyle we see every day with people whom we term “leaders”. But, think, are they really leaders?
If you are to describe who a real leader should be, what qualities would you describe? You may likely say that a leader should be honest, disciplined, focused on his vision, be able to influence others, bring out the best in others, get things done with the help of others, be convinced of his mission, and be able to deliver on what is expected of him and his team.
What Leadership Is Not
In addition to what we described above as our conventional understanding of leadership,
- Leadership is not oppression, suppression and subjugation of others
- Leadership is not making your power felt by others
- Leadership is not a divide and rule game
- Leadership is not absolute control.
- Leadership is not to show that you are better than others
- Leadership is not nepotism and undermining the rule of law.
- Leadership is not to show that others cannot be better than you within their area of expertise.
What Leadership Is
- Developing the Leadership potentials in others
- Bringing out the best in others
- Influencing others to achieve the vision
- Calling forth the destinies of others
- Being in control, but not in charge
- Guiding others to work towards achieving set goals
- Developing the leadership in those working with you
- Setting them up for success by focusing on their strength
- Constantly improving yourself, and so you serve as example to the team members
- Stepping back and allowing each team member contribute their best within their area
- Helping others to explore their potentials and the many great possibilities which their future holds
- Reaching out to each team member to know their drives, passion, strengths, and so better harmonize the synergy of the entire team.
As you describe your version of who a real leader is, ask yourself, “Am I an example of what I am describing?” As you read on, please keep in mind that this piece is about you because YOU ARE A LEADER.
Yes, in your own sphere of influence, you have been called to lead. Even your little daughter or son is a leader within her/his area of influence. When a child is in class, even that child has some form of leadership influence among his/her classmates.
So, this means that everyone is called to assume one form of leadership in one area or the other, without exemption.
Being an effective leader with great influence is a continuous journey of self-improvement and growth.
It requires growing in one’s level of selflessness and firm belief in the leadership potential of others. In this way, you leave behind a great legacy that continues to influence current and coming generations after you.
“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
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