The most successful leaders intentionally increase their level of influence. We should always want to increase our influence. When it comes to influence there is unlimited growth potential. John C. Maxwell says. “Leadership is influence.” Influence is “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.”
Successful leaders know how crucial it is to be able to influence those around them. Since influencing others is an essential factor to leading successfully, we should take the time to grow our influence. Here are 4 foundational ways to increase your influence with others:
1. Knowing and Accepting Yourself
Having influence with others begins with knowing and being yourself. You won’t be able to lead others unless you truly know yourself. Knowing yourself requires self-discovery in the areas of your personality, uniqueness, strengths, and weaknesses. Take time to learn about yourself.
The next step is to fully accept how you have been uniquely created. Be ok with who you are and learn to be comfortable in your own skin. The trick is to be yourself and not someone else. When people see we are authentic, they will want to follow us. Know and accept yourself first and then the influence will come.
2. Serve Others
Servant leaders are always increasing their influence. Robert Greenleaf said, “Good leaders must first become good servants.” When you serve others, it shows them you care about them and value them. The outcome of serving is those around you will desire to follow you because of how you have made them feel by what you have done for them. This must be done with good intentions that are rooted in helping others and not only to bring out positive results. To become or continue to be a servant leader always remember to:
- Be the first to serve others
- Place a high value on relationships and connecting with others
- Clothe yourself with humility
- Practice small acts of service and kindness
- Always see people as valuable assets
- Discipline yourself to daily serve others.
When you are a genuine servant leader, your influence with others will multiply.
3. Inspiring Others
Leaders inspire others. A foundational way to increase our influence is to inspire, encourage, and motivate those around us. We can all look back on a person who has inspired us to do and become more of the person we have been created to be. These are the people who have lifted us toward our potential and encouraged us to create better results. We need to be that type of person to those around us if we want to increase our level of influence.
Inspiring others starts with building relationships, respect, and trust with those around us. When we have those three factors, we will have the permission to inspire those around us. We should always take the time to inspire those on our teams.
4. Lead by Example
Successful leaders lead by example. The goal of every leader should be to lead with high standards and through a good example. We should model good and appropriate actions and behaviors to our people all the time. Albert Schweitzer said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”
My friend Brian Dodd shared 8 Areas All Successful Leaders Must Lead By Example in a recent article on his amazing site (click the link/blue to read about those areas). When we learn to lead by example in those 8 areas, our influence will always be increasing.
Question: How have you been able to increase your influence with those around you?
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