Thank you for joining the Champion forum podcast with Jeff Hancher! Everyone has an area of potential influence, but the key to being an effective leader is learning how to maximize your influence and use it to effect change.
In this episode, we discover that your success as a leader will be built on your ability to influence your team. Influence is not something that leaders automatically gain because of their title or education. Influence comes through genuinely caring about people and showing them that you care.
Key Characteristics of Leaders of Influence
They think with their heart, not their head. While sometimes tough decisions have to be made, they always think about the people first and the bottom line second.
They listen more than they speak. They know that it’s not really about them, it’s about the people.
They don’t rely on control. Instead, they inspire trust. When people trust you, they know that you're not tough because you’re a jerk, you’re tough because you care.
Q: What does it mean to lead with your heart? How can you lead with your heart while still making sound business decisions?
Habits of Leaders of Influence
They don’t make excuses.
They focus on finding solutions, not passing blame.
They incorporate the team in finding solutions and creating strategies.
They focus on what’s right, not who’s right.
They have a strong, consistent personal brand.
Q: Why do you think some leaders have a hard time making each of the above points a habit?
Q: What is a personal brand? How can you ensure that your brand inspires people to trust and respect you?
Q: Who do you know that is a leader of influence? What other habits do they have that you would add to this list?
Influence is NOT Manipulation
Manipulation relies on changing the emotions of the people you lead through fear, reward, or false promises. Leaders rely on manipulation when they need to see fast results. However, manipulation has a short-term gain and a negative long-term impact.
Influence, on the other hand, is built by making daily deposits into people. When people see that you are invested in making them great personally, they will do their best work for you and your organization day in and day out. You cannot lead with influence on autopilot. You must be innovative and intentional about making deposits into people every day.
Think about someone you know who lacks influence and led through their title. What was it like working with them? What habits did they have that caused them to lack influence? Write down those habits and characteristics. If you see any of them in your own life, make a plan to cut them out and replace them with new habits.
Think about someone you know who has great influence. Take some time this week to write them a thank you note. Gratitude is a powerful thing!
Find a way to ensure that you take the time to invest in people every day. If you struggle with this, follow the example Jeff gives in the podcast. Place 3 fifty cent pieces, or something similar in your left pocket every morning. Whenever you do something to invest in a team member, move one coin from your left pocket to your right. Don’t let yourself leave for the day until you have moved every coin.