Are you the leader that you want to be? For many of us, the answer is “not yet.” Are you taking the steps to become that leader? I hope the answer to that question is YES!
Another important question is: Do you truly understand what “leadership” means? Do you have a clear vision of what leadership looks like?
Leadership is not a position, title or power; it’s not something that can be assigned, awarded or appointed. If you’ve been around me for long, you know that I believe leadership is all about influence, it’s about people wanting to voluntarily follow us for the greater good of the project, organization or mission. Leadership is what led Apple to the brink of bankruptcy, and leadership is what brought Apple back to be the most valuable company in the world. So, how can we increase our influence, and therefore our leadership reach?
Leadership is influence and influence cannot be mandated – influence must be earned.
Here are three opportunities to evaluate yourself and your approach to leadership. Master the answers to these three questions, and you will begin to see your leadership rise to the next level.
- Can You Be Trusted? – One of the first questions your followers may have is whether you are someone who can be trusted. In order to gain the trust of your followers, you need to be a person of your word. It is also important that their experiences match their expectations. Do you do what you say you will? Are your words and actions consistent? As you begin to earn trust, you will increase your influence and your team will follow you anywhere.
- Can You Help (Me)? – People want to know how you can help them. Can you add value? Can you help them reach the next level? Those over whom you have influence want to know that your vision includes them and that you can help them succeed. To gain more followers and be seen as an expert in your field, you must have something to offer others (and you may have to prove it to gain their trust).
- Do You Care (About Me)? – John C. Maxwell says that people don’t care how much we know, until they know how much we care. Similarly, Zig Ziglar was fond of saying “you can have anything you want, as long as you help enough other people get what they want.” When we take the time to understand people by listening to them, when we take the time to demonstrate that we value them, and when we take the time to demonstrate we believe they can go to the next level our influence with them increases proportionately.
Focus on these three opportunities and see how your influence and leadership reach start to grow! Leave a comment and let me know which question you think is most important or which question you need to focus on to grow your leadership reach.