America’s leadership, John C. Maxwell, expert teaches that if your life in any way connects with other people, you are an influencer. Whether its your family, vocation or other area of life , you can increase your power and influence in leadership, with Maxwell’s simple, insightful ways to interact more positively with others. Watch your personal and organizational success go off the charts!
First of all there is nothing wrong with having the corner office, nothing at all. If this is where success leads you, my heart felt congratulations. What I want to talk about is why effort and time alone won’t make a leader. Why position alone doesn’t equate to positive change. And why you need to lead where you are, so you’ll eventually will lead where you want to be. I hope to make it clear in your mind that leadership is not about effort and hard work alone. Power and influence in leadership begins with influence. It’s not just about being the boss. Leadership is rooted in influence. Like John C. Maxwell says, “Leadership is about influence, nothing more and nothing less.”
- Why effort and time alone won’t make you a leader.
Here’s the first of 3 reasons why you need power and influence in leadershipChristian Simpson, a mentor of mine, says, “Some people are more attached to their struggle and adversity than success.” Effort and hard work are both critical components of a great leader. But is how you apply your effort. It is having self leadership. It is working hard, plus immersing yourself in both personal growth and adding value to others. Many good people expend a lot of effort and work hard, yet fall short of success more times than not. While they may fail more than they wish, many follow the same unproductive daily routines of life and never achieving the success they desire. So how can we change our daily routine?
If you will invest just a portion of your daily efforts into growing and developing who you are; it will open up whole worlds of opportunity you did not know existed. Investing effort and hard work into your personal development prepares you for when opportunity presents itself. Also, take what you learn and invest some of your daily efforts into adding value to others around you. Adding value is nothing more than finding a way to lift up, encourage and develop others around you. As you do so you cannot help but influencing others around you. And there in lies the spark of leadership.
- Why position alone doesn’t equate to positive change.
Let’s now discuss being the boss. Will things really change when you become the boss? Better yet, it that really the question we should as?. I agree things will change. Especially, if you desire change and force the change to come about. However, I would challenge you to think upon this. What changes would be best for both your people and still address the mission of your organization? I remember when I was a police officer and I got into a high speed chase. After speeds of unto 100 mph and onto streets of a neighboring city, I finally caught the individual. After I had taken him into custody, my lieutenant came to my location and asked me why the individual ran? I told him, the individual knew they had warrants and wanted to get his car home so it wouldn’t be towed. My lieutenant was incensed. He yelled out to the individual, “You put my officer’s life in jeopardy! The car is facing the wrong way and is too far from the curb. Tow it!” What I took away from this is my lieutenant valued me as a person. He was angry that someone had placed my life in jeopardy. At that point, I’d done anything for the man.
And even now, many years later, if he called me as a character reference or had a need; I would be there for him. Maxwell says in his book, Becoming A Person of Influence that, “Influencers pay attention to the needs of those around them, and then pour out of themselves out to meet those needs. The average person goes through life looking for validation. They want to know they’re respected and valued. Leaders nurture others by extending genuine care, offering a sense of belonging, and being generous with encouragement.” When this happens, people want to follow you. They want to put in that extra effort simply because you asked it of them.” Yes, things may change when you’re the boss, but if you want truly productive change, become a person of influence.
- Why you need to lead where you are.
If you want to be a person of influence, you simply need to lead where you are. Start out by leading your self. Expand your ability for self leadership through personal development. Then apply what you learn. And you don’t need subordinates to begin to lead. Take what you learn and pour it into your peers. And purposely lead upwards, by helping to remove hurdles from your manager’s path. Ask your manager, what challenges you can help them meet and overcome. Then follow through. Also learn what your particular gifts are. We all have gifts. Let me say that again, “We all have gifts.” Being self aware is knowing one’s gifts. Everyone of us needs to be aware of our gifts and then both develop and grow them. And that growth and development will expand your vision of what you can do. It will magnify your ability to influence others. A wise man once said, “Opportunity is everywhere. The key is to develop the vision to see it.”
Now you have 3 reasons why you need power and influence in leadership. Now go forth and apply your efforts wisely. Work smart by investing in you and then pouring into others. Strive to be more than “the boss.” Be the influencer in your workplace, at home and in your community. And you will move from leading where you are now; to leading in ways you did not know existed. You will lead in places you’d never thought you would aspire to. And, eventually, you’ll find you have lead yourself where you always wanted to be.