They say that leaders are born, not made. While it is true that some people are born leaders, some leaders are born in the midst of adversity. Often, simple people who have never had a leadership role will stand up and take the lead when a situation they care about requires it. A simple example is parenting. When a child arrives, many parents discover leadership abilities they never knew existed in order to guide and protect their offspring.
Once you learn the techniques of true leadership & influence, you will be able to build the confidence it takes to take the lead. The more experience you have acting as a genuine leader, the easier it will be for you. It is never easy to take the lead, as you will need to make decisions and face challenges, but it can become natural and rewarding.
So how do you create influence?
1. Serve others before yourself.
The best use of your time and leadership is in the service of others. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. The growth and development of people represent the highest calling of leadership.
2. Believe in your people.
There is no greater empowerment and support you can give someone than to look them in the eye and with sincerity and conviction say, “I believe in you.” When you believe in someone, they can achieve the impossible.
3. Give trust so you can earn trust.
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them first. Trust is the glue of leadership, the foundational principle that holds all relationships together. Teamwork builds trust and trust builds growth.
4. Truly connect with people.
Leaders should connect with their people and relate to them in a way that increases their own influence. When you can connect with people, you can begin to form relationships—and relationships are the basis of influence.
5. Invest in the success of others.
The more you invest in people and lift them toward their potential, the more likely they are to view you as their leader. Leadership is not about titles, positions or flow charts but one life influencing another. True leaders bring out the personal best in those around them.
6. Lead with character.
Leading with character means doing what’s right, however hard it is. Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. People will follow you when you exhibit strong character and integrity.
7. Lead with authority but allow autonomy.
Leaders must be close enough to relate to others but far enough ahead to motivate them. If you truly want people to respect you as a leader, you must prove to them they can survive and thrive even without you.
8. Be kind.
Always show kindness and attention to others. Your words might be filling the empty places in someone’s heart. It does not matter who is assigned to your team; what matters is who they will become because of you.
9. Provide opportunities for wins.
Create circumstances that give your people a series of small wins that will magnify their potential. When challenges are mastered and opportunities turn into wins, people admire the leader who has helped them stretch.