How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

Leadership Influence and Self-Awareness

Nerves are abuzz as business students file into the lecture hall for the one of the most famous classes at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Interpersonal Dynamics. It doesn’t teach financial modeling; instead it focuses on soft skills, earning it the affectionate course moniker of Touchy Feely. This cohort of twelve heard rumors about what’s in store. Today, they’ll be required to stack-rank themselves against their peers. Individually, they’ll receive direct feedback and have to face the realities of how much, or how little leadership influence they possess in the group. Tears will be shed. No one wants to be at the bottom of the stack, but someone will fill that slot.

Touchy Feely teaches communication, feedback and other important soft skills to students preparing to lead organizations. One of the key exercises, The Influence Stack, imparts powerful lessons amidst rare and genuine vulnerability. As a facilitator, I’ve observed this forced, awkward, and often painful dance. Inevitably some people feel hurt, but they learn how to effectively increase their sphere of influence and impact.

Top Actions of Influential Leaders

The Influence Stack exercise involves students stack-ranking themselves from the most to least influential in the group. The process is repeated each class period until all 12 students have unanimously organized the stack.

After years of executive coaching and facilitating exercises like the Influence Stack, I’ve found six common actions that help leaders become, and remain influential:

Engage in Conflict
Have a Strong Voice
Listen With Empathy
Show Vulnerability
Be Decisive
Demonstrate Non-defensiveness

Soft Skills Are the Key to Influential Leadership

Power of influence is the single most important quality of a leader. Without it, a leader isn’t going to inspire action or drive success. While “hard” or easily measured skills can contribute to a leader’s influence within an organization, soft skills are what separates good leaders from truly influential ones. Here’s a breakdown of those essential competencies:

1) Engage In Conflict

The ability to skillfully engage in conflict is crucial in a group setting. Leaders can’t shy away from conflict; in fact, they can use it to their advantage. Healthy conflict in this context means the ability to disagree while managing against inappropriate anger, hyperbolic speech and accusation that normally characterize unhealthy conflict. Avoidance of conflict does not win trust for a leader because people want to follow someone who can advocate with strength when the moment requires it.

2) Have A Strong Voice

In the Stanford Interpersonal Dynamics setting, the students who speak up receive higher ranks in the influence stack. It reasons that having a voice, and using it, is a primary way to influence others. In this case a “strong voice” doesn’t always mean a loud voice. Strength can be achieved by sheer volume but also with clarity, tone, cadence and other qualities. Individuals who don’t communicate their points of view well, often struggle to shape a common narrative and affect group decision making.

3) Listen With Empathy

The most influential people can seamlessly balance between inserting their voice and engaging with empathic ears. Knowing when to sit silent and actively listen to others allows leaders to successfully navigate conflict.

4) Show Vulnerability

The most influential students find a way to demonstrate vulnerability without oversharing. Vulnerability, when appropriately balanced, forges connections and builds trust. People who are unable to share in an open way struggle to build close relationships and win allies.

5) Be Direct

Students who don’t clearly articulate their needs or expectations in a direct manner typically fall to the bottom of the stack. An influential leader must be able to communicate their feelings without hiding too much behind nuance, jokes or caveat-ed speech.

6) Demonstrate Non-defensiveness

Non-defensive people are capable of hearing a contrary point of view without reacting. The most influential leader can receive negative feedback and even judgement without losing their balance. At the heart of non-defensiveness is the ability to respond rather than react. Non-defensive people may still get angry and advocate for their point of view, but they do it while maintaining an open mind.

Leadership Influence Is a Set of Learned Skills

So, what about those students who scored at the very bottom of their leadership influence stack? Can they become influential leaders? The short answer is yes, the six soft skills I outlined above can be learned, practiced, and honed.

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your own leadership style can help you better identify which approach is best for your current role. Check out our ebook, 10 Leadership Styles You Should Know, to learn more about different approaches to leadership and when and how to apply them.

How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

First, why would you want you to be an influential person?

There are many reasons. Influential people can create change in communities and in industries. They are sought out for their expertise and their reputations as leaders.

Finally, and most importantly, influential people can parlay their ability to influence into success on both a personal and business level.

10 Steps to Becoming An Influential Person

Unfortunately, when many people think about influential people, they think about presidents, celebrities, and famous entrepreneurs. This can make the thought of becoming an influential person seem nearly impossible.

What is important to remember is that becoming an influential person doesn’t require that you reach celebrity status.

It is quite possible to become an influential person in your community or in your industry without becoming any kind of celebrity. Here are the 10 steps that you can take to make it happen.

1. Know Your Stuff

Influencers are experts. They keep up with the latest developments in their industry, and they know their craft inside and out. Whatever they do, they can be counted on for quality and expertise.

So, read the trade magazines, follow the blogs, take classes, and do whatever else is required to be at the top of your game.

2. Find Your Community And Get Active

You cannot become influential if nobody knows who you are. If there are Facebook groups for people in your line of work, join them.

Go to trade shows. Then, don’t just keep to yourself. Meet people. Talk to them. Those blogs you read; don’t simply read them. Leave comments. Follow the author on social media. Share relevant articles and posts on social media.

3. Help Others With Your Knowledge And Don’t Ask For Anything in Return

Now that you are an established member of your community, it’s time to do things to stand out. If you become aware of someone having a problem that you can solve, help them out.

Give them the information that they need, or walk them through the steps they need to follow. Give good advice. Then, don’t ask for payment in any form. Repeat this process over and over again.

4. Share Your Thoughts & Opinions

Start a blog. Now that people know who you are, and you’ve established a reputation as a source of help and information, it should be pretty easy to get followers.

Just be sure to publish lots of great content. A dormant blog won’t help you reach your goals. Don’t skip this step! Some of the most influential people of the 21st century are active bloggers.

5. Get Other People Talking About You

Once you have established your blog, make sure you include social share buttons. This will give people a way to share what you have written with others.

This will help generate conversation about the thoughts and opinions that you share. You may also want to allow comments on your blog posts. Whatever you do, make sure you are participating in some of these conversations.

6. Reach a Wider Audience

This is the point where you should do a bit of an evaluation.

Are you reaching everybody you can?

Are there any segments of your industry that you may be ignoring? It may be time to change things up a bit. You may need to expand your footprint on social media. If you are only on Facebook, it may be time to get on Instagram or Tumblr.

This is also a good time to jazz up your content. Record some videos and upload them to YouTube, and publish them on your blog. Learn to make Infographics and really make your content interesting. Offer to write a guest blog for another influencer, or write an article for a trade magazine.

Star a hashtag marketing campaign.

7. Develop a Brand

When people see your name, what do you want them to think.

Obviously, you want them to think of you as somebody who is an expert, who helps others, who educates, and who has opinions that really matter in your space.

However, that’s just the start. Your brand encompasses everything from your personal and professional reputation, to the images people see when they think of you.

You can develop your brand by doing a few of the following things:

  • Being consistent in your writing style and interactions
  • Using a customized theme on your blog or website
  • Creating a personal logo
  • Adding a head shot to your profiles and posting it on your website and blog

Adding an about page to your blog so your audience knows your story.

8. Publish an E-book

It’s time to take it up a step.

Give your followers a bigger piece of your knowledge than they will ever get reading your blog posts and following you on social media. Take all of the important knowledge and expertise that you have accumulated and write an E-book.

For many people, the simple fact that you have written and published an E-book will boost your reputation exponentially.

You can also attract more audience members by offering the E-book as premium content for subscribers, or use it in giveaways. Of course, you must remember to promote your book.

9. Be Opinionated And Controversial

The point of being an influential person is to become well-known and respected enough that you can generate change. This will never happen if the only opinions you share are likable to everybody, or they adhere to mainstream thought.

Don’t be afraid to point out the problems in your industry or to disagree (respectfully) with others. If you think something is wrong, in spite of it being popular, say something.

10. Pay it Backwards

At this point, it is safe to say that you are now an influential person. Yes, you put in a lot of hard work to get to this point, but you had help along the way.

All of the people who followed you on social media, who shared your posts, and talked about the things you had to say played a role in getting you to where you are now. So, go do what influential people do best.

Find somebody who is up and coming, and help them become an influential person as well.


To recap on the 10 steps to becoming an influential person in short:

  1. Know your stuff
  2. Find your community and get active
  3. Help others with your knowledge and don’t ask for anything in return
  4. Share your thoughts and opinions
  5. Get other people talking about you
  6. Reach a wider audience
  7. Develop a brand
  8. Publish an E-book
  9. Be opinionated and controversial
  10. Pay it backwards
Join the Community

How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

A leadership theory is an assumption about distinguishing characteristics of a particular kind of leader. Theories focus on determining specific qualities, such as skill levels, that separate a leader from a follower. Great Man, Trait, Contingency, Situational, Behavioral, and Participative leadership theories are among the most common.

The Great Man leadership theory makes the assumption that leadership skills are inherent, not taught. These types of leaders have within them a seemingly heroic ability to lead whenever needed. An example of the Great Man theory might include heroic leadership in stressful military situations.

Trait leadership theories are also based on the belief that some people are born with qualities that make them good leaders. Many people who believe in Trait theories cite particular shared behavioral or personality characteristics of current leaders to support their beliefs. Some critics of this leadership theory argue that there are people who have such characteristics, but aren’t leaders.

Contingency leadership theories usually focus on environmental, rather than personal, variables. These theories state that leadership ability is situational. Some people who lead well in one situation might not in another, or one leadership style may be more effective than another. Environmental variables can include characteristics of subordinates and how much everyone agrees on the specific task.

Situational and Contingency leadership theories are often thought to be similar because both involve leaders being chosen based on situations. Situational leadership, though, focuses more on decision-making leadership skills than on how subordinates might affect leadership ability. Certain types of decisions generally require corresponding leadership skills. For example, if a political position needed to be filled, the candidate would be chosen not just because of his or her leadership qualities, but because of a previous role in politics that would afford the best situational decisions.

Like Great Man and Trait theories, Behavioral leadership theory includes the idea that people can be born with leadership qualities. The difference is that Behavioral leadership theory focuses on the actions of leaders rather than on inherent characteristics. This means that people can also learn to become leaders.

Participative theories are usually based upon the thought that great leaders are ones who incorporate the suggestions or ideas of their subordinates. This in turn can help subordinates feel more valued and encourage more leader support. Leaders do, however, usually reserve the right within their leadership role to select which subordinate contributions are most relevant to a situation.

How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

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How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

Effective leaders inspire movements that exist only when people choose to move in the same direction. Without a leader, movements fragment and get nowhere. The leader’s job is to inspire people to work together in the service of something greater than themselves.

Unfortunately, there are a great many bosses out there leading companies, and not enough leaders. The title of “boss” only signifies power over others. To be called a leader, your must inspire your team through your actions and words to believe in a common vision. The mark of a true leader is the ability to encourage the employee commitment and engagement that is the foundation for continued success. To start leading and stop bossing, emulating the habits of inspiring leaders.

1. They express unerring positivity.

Truly inspiring leaders can find the bright side of any issue. They know that doom and gloom accomplishes nothing, so they remain beacons of positivity in the face of challenges and failures. Of course, problems happen and troubleshooting is inevitable. But if you want to be a truly inspirational, show others the silver lining.

2. They are grateful to their team.

Nothing drains commitment from a team like feeling their efforts go unnoticed. Leaders who do not show appreciation for their employees are putting their business at risk for higher turnover, lower output and malaise. Even small gestures of gratitude show people that they matter. Send birthday cards and give bonuses and accolades when they are earned. Even a quick “Thank you, this project couldn’t have happened without you” is enough to inspire and bolster your team.

3. They have a crystal clear vision for the future.

The greatest leaders of our time could articulate a vision so clear it seemed as though it had already come to pass. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech is a perfect example of this. Through words, actions and beliefs, inspiring leaders know what their preferred future looks like and can show others exactly how to get there. To truly inspire, know precisely what you are you striving to achieve.

4. They listen.

Hearing is not the same as listening. Inspirational leaders truly listen to what is said to them and respond appropriately, instead of letting it go in one ear and out the other. Practice an open door policy to receive your team’s feedback and encourage them to contribute to the common goal. This imbues the company with a shared sense of value because everyone participates and everyone is important.

5. They communicate impeccably.

If what a leader is communicating can’t be understood, forward movement is immediately arrested. Some leaders think that snappy memos or quick meetings will accomplish more. However, cutting corners around communication will only create snafus that cause time-sucking reiterations. Messages are misunderstood, feelings are hurt, projects turn out wrong, and frustrations mount. Truly inspiring leaders know that taking the right amount of time with each communication ensures that everyone is on board and moving forward.

6. They are trustworthy.

Customers and employees alike are much more likely to jump ship when a leader’s top priority is success, even at the cost of the team’s well-being. Leaders inspire others to look up to them by telling the truth, being in integrity with what they promise and living honestly and earnestly. When employees take pride in their leadership and their organization, inspiration follows close behind.

7. They are passionate.

Enthusiasm for the mission of your organization is critical in being an inspirational leader. Work becomes a meaningless task when done for someone who is blasé about the whole thing. If you don’t know why the work you do matters, your employees won’t either. Keep your vision in the forefront of your mind. Your passion will remind your team often about the “why” of their work.

How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

We’ve all heard the John Maxwell saying “leadership is influence.” Easier said than done, right? The real challenge is figuring out how to do it! Well, here’s a clue: Get others to respond emphatically to your leadership. When you do, you’re influencing.

OK, Mr. Smarty Pants, just how exactly do you do that? Start by first reminding yourself that leadership is not dictating, commanding, or imposing. It is being of service to others (yes, to your customers but especially to your employees).

The Clear Path of Influence

Let’s get practical. It is empowering others to achieve their goals, bringing out the best in people, putting their needs ahead of your own (as a leader), and helping them develop. Think of the multiple ways these things can be done every day.

We call this servant leadership–one of the highest platforms to launch you toward influencing others. And it’s great for your bottom line too, says a bunch of research.

The behaviors that lead to influence, as written about by thought-leaders like Adam Grant, Dan Pink, and Simon Sinek, point back to character. It is who you are, not what you do. It is a choice, not a prescribed process or to-do list.

Are you looking for influence in leading and making decisions? I submit the following as your road map for success:

1. Gain the trust of others.

The foundation for everything related to your leadership has to be built on trust. In his phenomenal book The Speed Of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey says that a team with high trust will produce results faster and at lower cost. Conventional thinking says that people have to earn trust first, right? But it has been found that, in healthy organizations, leaders with a servant mindset are willing to give trust to their followers first, and they give it as a gift even before it’s earned.

2. Let go of your ego.

An unhealthy ego can be a liability on the performance of the business. Ask the late Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron. A leader with a healthy ego is one who has mastered the paradoxical balance of personal humility with confidence and fierce resolve. This is a leader (in a Jim Collins “Level 5” way) you want to follow because he or she is safe.

3. Demonstrate competence.

Sure, a strong character in service to others is crucial to get people from the neck up. But trust goes out the proverbial window if you can’t demonstrate knowledge and expertise in your particular field or industry that will carry the vision forward. That includes the ability to communicate that vision, so followers are actively engaged in pursuing it. Competence builds confidence in your people. And their confidence in you, the leader, will ultimately deliver excellence.

4. Inspire others to find their voice.

In traditional, top-down hierarchies , bosses at the top of the food chain will lay out a vision, then use power and control to move people to carry out the vision. In today’s social economy, leaders will cast a company vision and enroll their followers to express their voice as co-creators and co-contributors to the vision. The fear is pumped out of the room and people are liberated and empowered to collaborate, innovate, and engage.

5. Develop a cultural identity.

Companies like Google, Zappos, TDIndustries, and HubSpot have distinctive corporate identities that attract great employees. You’ll find these corporate cultures usually centered around giving employees ownership over decisions (shared leadership), authenticity (open communication, expression of thoughts, ideas, and perspectives) and the building of community (collaboration, diversity, inclusion).

Parting Thoughts

We’ve reached an age of globalization that demands that companies hire and promote leaders high on organizational transparency and trustworthiness. As we head into 2017, start thinking about identifying and developing influential leaders to build into the DNA of your company culture.

How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

Something I hear a lot from nurses is, “I don’t have much power because I just work at the bedside.”

That is simply untrue. Leadership is power and we are all leaders in nursing. Some nurses lead in more seemingly obvious ways such as overseeing other nurses, setting policy for a unit, or setting the vision and strategy for patient care in a hospital system.

Some lead in quieter ways, independently making decisions that have bearing on the health and well-being of our patients. Sometimes a patient’s life is in our hands. That is leadership.

Lead by Inspiring

A t-shirt I like to wear says, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” Being kind is the essence of inspiration in nursing. We inspire people just by seeing the value in humanity and giving of ourselves.

Whether you’re a leader from the bedside inspiring those around you to provide extraordinary patient care, or a leader inspiring those who make policy, it’s your vision and drive that move people forward.

Lead by Innovating

I always say, if you want to see innovation, give a nurse a roll of tape and some bandage scissors!

Nurses are masters of workarounds. We’ll do whatever is needed to ensure our patients are cared for. We make sure they get the treatment, medications, and care they need, at the time of need.

Technology and innovation in nursing are inextricably connected. When making decisions about technology in the patient care environment, keep the clinical perspective at the forefront and the patient at the center. Make sure a clinical expert is at the table for every discussion about technology nurses will use.

Lead by Influencing

For the 16th year in a row, nurses were ranked number one in a Gallup poll of honesty and ethical standards in professions. This in and of itself demonstrates the influence nurses have.

As a nurse leader, one of my goals is to elevate nurses’ voices so they can tell their own stories. I want to show the influence they have in their communities as the backbone of healthcare.

We nurse the communities we live in, whether we’re coaching a ball team, driving a van full of cheerleaders, co-leading a scout troop, or helping people who are suffering. Whatever it is we do, we’re often on the front line of contributing to our community’s health and well-being and ensuring people have healthy places to go and healthy activities to do.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.

Empowering Nursing Informatics Professionals

The HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee is helping unite the languages of healthcare, nursing, information and technology into one. #Nurses4HIT

How to be a leader who is inspiring and influential

I love reading about and studying the lives of our great leaders. I find it inspiring that so many of the people we admire the most came from very regular beginnings and, through hard work and dedication, achieved great success. They didn’t just persevere in the face of adversity; they seemed to thrive on it and they continued to fight for change even when it was hard and wasn’t all that convenient for them.

Being a leader is more than just the role you’re in or title you hold. Leadership is really about influence and being a force for positive change. Throughout history, people from all walks of life have become influential leaders: authors, former slaves, clergymen, migrant workers and homemakers have led movements that changed history.

To give you a little extra inspiration on your leadership journey, here are four quotes from people I consider to be among the most influential leaders of all time. Not all of them held traditional leadership roles, but they all helped change the world in immeasurable ways.

“It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.” — Sir Winston Churchill

I understand there is value in long-term planning, but it seems like a lot of people use it as a way to not deal with whatever is going on right now. Like, they truly, honestly think as long as they have that plan and cling to it, whatever is happening right now will sort itself out. Unfortunately, that’s not actually how life works.

As a leader, the bulk of your organization’s issues are going to land right in your lap. Sidestepping them and trying to focus on the big picture won’t make them disappear. It’ll only make them bigger. If you want to be successful, you have to deal with the problem in front of you right this very second. And then you move on to the next one. You have to be in motion. You have to be actively involved in what’s happening in the here and now. Anything else will totally derail the long-term plan you’ve been clinging to.

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” — Norman Vincent Peale

Everyone is good at something, but no one is good at everything. Find what you’re good at. If you need to, sit down and make a list of all the things you’re naturally good at—things you do well without practice or lessons—and focus on those things. If you want to be a successful and effective leader, you’ve got to have enough faith in what you can achieve to admit you can’t achieve all the things alone.

Build up those natural strengths, and surround yourself with people who complement your skill set but whose strengths are opposite of yours

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” General George S. Patton

Treat your people like professionals—not like children. Trust that you did a good enough job hiring them that you can give them an assignment and they can figure out how to complete it based on the skills and experience that led you to choose them over all the other applicants in the first place. Maybe they don’t go about doing things exactly the same way you do, but that doesn’t mean their way is wrong. It’s just different. Standing over your people and dictating how they do their job doesn’t make you a good leader—it makes you a micromanager. No one likes to work for a micromanager. And they generally won’t for any longer than absolutely necessary.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

There is a big difference between being a boss and being a leader. A boss tends to think the people around him are there to make him a big deal. He takes all the glory when things are going well and passes on 100 percent of the blame when things are going bad. His ego is too big to see that his people neither like nor respect him because he makes them feel like they don’t matter. Those are the kind of people that make us hate to go to work every day.

If you want to be a leader who makes a lasting impact and who is respected by your employees, build your people up. Shine a light on them. Acknowledge the vital role they play in your successes as well as their individual achievements and make them feel like you are grateful to have them on your team. Make them feel appreciated. When you shine a light on your people and make them feel like they matter, the light will eventually shine back on you.

Being a leader definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to thrive on adversity and have the guts to run gleefully towards the uncertainty. That’s scary stuff, but you don’t have to go it alone. When you find yourself worrying about the future, take a look at the past and get inspiration from the greats who came before you. They may provide just the shot of bravery you need to be the great leader you aspire to be.

Чему вы научитесь



Leadership is about making others better through empowering them to be and do their best. Every business needs strong leaders to guide, inspire and impact those around them, to work together and achieve a common goal.

If you are ready to develop your leadership skills, to be someone that motivates others to be the best versions of themselves and surpass goals, then this is the course for you! Leadership: How to Influence, Inspire and Impact as a Leader, guides you from having a manager mentality to developing an attitude of leadership. You will be introduced to the various styles of leadership, learn about the effectiveness of each, and determine which style of leader you are. You will learn how to work with different levels of performers and how to inspire them to reach further success, how to effectively communicate and influence others to work towards your vision, and you’ll learn how to do it in a way that’s both informative and engaging!

Lorraine Wiseman has taught leadership to companies around the world for more than 25 years, teaching both hands on and at colleges and universities. This course brings Lorraine’s 25+ years of experience and industry know-how, to you! Her unique teaching style comes from her experience in presidential roles in 7 companies, in 6 countries around the world.

What Will I Learn?

  • The qualities of a great leader
  • The difference between being a manager and a leader
  • Traits VS behaviors
  • Leadership styles: the impact they can have on an organization and potential results
  • The significance of followership and how being a follower can make you a stronger leader
  • Working with different levels of performers and how to influence them to achieve results
  • Assembling the right team
  • How to build a cohesive team
  • Being an authentic leader
  • Servant leadership
  • Building trust through coaching and communication
  • How to overcome blocks in creativity
  • Choosing the right channel of communication in various circumstances
  • Creating a shared vision and empowering your team

This course is also full of examples and activities that allow you to practice what you are learning. Work with Lorraine throughout 7 exercises to develop your skills and competencies to become a strong leader!

Learning from Leadership: How to Influence, Inspire and Impact as a Leader will benefit you professionally as you gain skills and acquire tools that will enable you to support your team!

Leadership can be challenging and complex. To navigate this maze you need to have a strong understanding of who you are, know what motivates your followers, communicate effectively and more!

By the end of this course you will be able to confidently and effectively influence and support those around you, empower your team to reach goals and more!

We look forward to seeing you in the course!

Influential Leaders at every level in every organization cultivate a particular set of skills to enable them to move through the organisation faster and influence people outside of their remit.

by Ed Chacksfield

We all know those people at work that appear to be able to reach out into their organization and gather vital information and find the answers to problems quicker than seems possible. They appear to know everyone and everyone knows them. They can travel further and faster, cutting effortlessly through the troublesome folds and fabric of organizational hierarchy and process in seemingly a blink of an eye. These are the influential leaders, the “travelers through space and time”, who are able to achieve and influence more than their position in the traditional hierarchy of an organisation would suggest possible.

But how do these individuals achieve this astonishing ability? They cultivate five essential skills and attributes that allow them to enjoy significant organisational reach and effectiveness:

1) Cultivate Your Personal Brand

Firstly, influential leaders consciously and proactivity manage their personal brand and reputation. Personal brand can be defined as “what people say about you when you are not there”. It is made up of a number of key elements from how you present yourself, what you say and what you don’t say, and who you associate with.

2) Be Positive and Proactive

Second, these individuals understand the need to build a strong reputation founded on great competence and a reliable “can-do” attitude. They fulfill their obligations, they act with positive intent towards others and the organisation. An influential leader is seen as a go-to, trustworthy agent that can help out others and find solutions. These attributes mean many others are keen to be associated with them.

3) Leverage Networks

The next skill which enables these individuals to extend their reach is their ability to leverage the power of their internal and external networks. They possess extensive personal and operational networks and they learn how to use these contacts not only for their own benefit but, more importantly, for the benefit of the team and the organisation. This idea goes well beyond being simply well connected on social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with an apparent multitude of followers. Influential leaders really know people and people know them, which leads on to the next skill:

4) Make Time for People

They take the time to really get to know people and are genuine in their interest, making friends before they really need them, with these extensive, well-maintained networks they are able to cut through and across bureaucratic layers; making calls; meeting new people; sending emails and, most importantly getting the answers to key questions in minutes where others would take days.

5) Use Influencing Techniques

Finally, the oil that makes this network work in their favor is their ability to practice and deploy a number of subtle influencing techniques and behaviors. They are able to persuade others through the fact that they have a great reputation and brand and therefore people just simply like them and want to help them. They also understand the power of reciprocation and they will go out of their way to help those who have been kind enough to help them out.

No matter how junior they appear on an organizational line diagram, influential leaders are highly networked, inter-connected individuals that are essential to the life-blood of any organisation but especially in larger corporations. They can not only open up ‘wormholes’ in the organisation for information to flow more freely; they also provide the real conduits for entrepreneurial endeavors and innovation to flourish. These behaviors break down siloed working, join people together and work towards a more agile way of working.

If you want to become an influential leader in your own organisation, take time to carefully build your personal reputation in the business. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have a close look at your network and ask yourself where are the gaps and how could you close them?
  2. Are there individuals you know who are well connected?
  3. How could you get to know them?
  4. What could you do to create situations where you have genuine conversations with people?

Ultimately, building a real personal and professional network goes well beyond simply boasting of numerous digital connections. That is where it might start but it really means meeting people, having genuine authentic conversations and making a quality connection. This will take time, dedication and a consistent approach, but it is always worth it.

If you want to be able to be your organisation’s Captain Kirk, take time to carefully build your personal reputation in the business. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have a close look at your network and ask yourself where are the gaps and how could you close them?
  2. Are there individuals you know who are well connected?
  3. How could you get to know them?
  4. What could you do to create situations where you have genuine conversations with people?

Ultimately, building a real personal and professional network goes well beyond simply boasting of numerous digital connections. That is where it might start but it really means meeting people, having genuine authentic conversations and making a quality connection. This will take time, dedication and a consistent approach, but it is always worth it.