To be an effective leader we must influence. We’ve all seen John Maxwell’s quote, “Leadership is Influence, Nothing More, Nothing Less.” People who can influence can lead. But how does one become a leader of leaders? The obvious answer is to influence the influencers.
How do you influence the influencers? It begins by identifying your strengths and weaknesses and making adjustments as necessary. In addition to your basic influence, you increase your influence on the influencers by;
- Being fully in the game – Follow and align with the organizations vision and goals, regardless of what you think. Influencing the influencers; means being a team player. Remember; Power comes to those who live under authority.
- Use your strengths to help others succeed – Les Brown said, “help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” Influencing the influencers; means remembering there are others that need your help.
- Ask for feedback – How can you exceed expectations if you don’t know if you are meeting expectations. Influencing the influencers; means knowing how to exceed expectations.
- Just Do it – My favorite saying, “Don’t tell me what you’re going to do, show me what you’ve done!” Influencing the influencers; requires achieving more than others and doing it better.
- Ready, Fire, Aim – Do what you need to do to, to accomplish what you need to accomplish. Remember the saying ,“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.” Influencing the influencers; means being first, because first always wins!
- ALWAYS see the bigger picture through the weeds – Sanford I. Weill said, “The details create the big picture.” Influencing the influencers; means seeing the big picture in all circumstances.
- Give second chances – We all make mistakes, some more than others (talking about myself). Influencing the influencers; requires recognizing we all make mistakes and helping others become successful.
- Hold yourself and others to high standards – My staff knows this principle well. If we can’t exceed expectations, how can we expect others to do the same. Only those who think great, become great! Influencing the influencers; means doing it better all the time, every time.
- Ask good questions – Become good at asking questions. “Answers inform, questions transform”, John Maxwell. Influencing the influencers; means having the answers before everyone else does.
- Be persistent – Don’t give up, EVER! Don’t stop until you accomplish what you set out to achieve and then achieve more! Influencing the influencers; requires persistence in the things that matter.
- Be consistent – Avoid impulsive decisions and think before you speak. Influencing the influencers; requires consistency in our actions and behaviors.
- Call out the elephant in the room – The Old English used a term, “There it is”. It was used when calling out the obvious or ridiculous in something or someone. Not addressing an obvious issue is passing up a chance to influence and more than likely being viewed as intimidated. Influencing the influencers; requires guts and courage.
- Assemble an inner circle that believes in the vision – John Maxwell said, “A leaders potential is determined by those closest to him/her.” Influencing the influencers; requires exceptional influence from you and your entire team.
- Be direct, but respectful – It’s important to speak your mind when the timing is right. However, be respectful in all conversations. Influencing the influencers; requires people with the audacity to get to the point and do it respectfully.
- Admit your mistakes and fix them – No need for excuses, just admit the wrong doing and make it right. Influencing the influencers; requires humility, not arrogance.
- Seek wisdom from the wise and obtain knowledge from those who have walked before you – Some know the way because of the wisdom they posses. Some know the way, because of the experiences they’ve experienced. Influencing the influencers; requires seeking counsel and advice when needed.
Those who influence the influencers, are those who influence those who have influence. In other words, to lead leaders, you must influence those who lead others. Do what you do well and lead those you lead with conviction and passion and you will find yourself leading leaders.