How do leaders build raving followers?
Regardless of the organization, there are limits to authority yet unlimited potential with influence. It’s easy to see the difference. With authority, a team member may comply with requests made by a superior. With influence, a team member will commit to the leader or his/her requests.
It is the difference between asking and telling.
A leader can ask and be confident that the response will be a supportive one.
A superior must tell, and hope that their wishes are met.
The questions your team has about you are:
- Does this person know what he/she is doing?
- Can I trust this person?
- Does this person care about me?
If a team member cannot say “yes” to each of the above questions, they will likely resist your leadership and consider your directions as ones coming from a superior.
In order to reach the unlimited potential of influence, your team must be confident that you know what you are doing, are trustworthy, and care about them.
To unlock this potential, study how you can increase your influence and be aware of actions that may violate the three tenets listed above.
- Consider the perspective of the one being led, not the leader. Remember – share why you are doing what you are doing (connecting them will help them understand your logic, helping them believe you know what you are doing).
- Consider the things that make you feel trusting towards others, and try to create that for them. Spend time with the people you aim to lead, and have them see the strength of your character.
- Consider the things that you can do to help others see that you care about them. Connecting their dreams to the tasks, investing time in them so they develop, and occasionally drop a line to just to say hello are a few examples.
Best of luck!