Influence: An Important Tool For Successful Leadership

The ability to influence is an essential leadership skill. The dictionary defines influence as “the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command”. Effective leaders influence without being dictatorial. When a leader inspires a group of individuals to work toward the achievement of a common goal that makes the world a better place in some way, you are seeing influence at its best.

Who’s in your shadow? That’s who you are influencing, whether you are conscious of it or not. We mold by modeling and someone is watching you.

Leaders leave a legacy – not a trail of destruction. If you were to leave your present job tomorrow, how would you be described when you’re gone?

There’s a difference between a legacy of influence and a legacy of power. Power is often wielded in a manipulative way and typically has an agenda. If the agenda is for the common good, it can be a positive thing. Sometimes people shy away from the notion of having power because of the negative experiences they’ve had with people who use power selfishly.

Seven ways power-seeking differs from building influence:
Power Influence

Focus is on YOUFocus on Others
What you accomplish.What you contribute.
The money you make.The relationships you build.
The impression you leave.The impact you have.
Builds your career.Builds an organization, family, or
What you learn. What you teach.
How you improve.How you help others improve.

Being intentional regarding your influence and impact is not prideful, it’s good leadership. Everything we say and do reveals the length and shadow of our soul. Thus our influence is determined by the quality of our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. Someone is in your shadow.

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