Leadership Distinction #27: Influence

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Leadership Distinction #27: Influence

When you take center stage ask your audience to join you

When you attempt to secure the commitment of a follower your ability to Influence is center stage. What you offer for a reason to follow you is your vision of a better tomorrow as contrasted with some aspect of today. This vision comes from your imagination; it operates backstage. Influence on center stage. Imagination backstage. Which do you perceive to be more difficult for you? Where do you operate best? Which do you wish you had in greater measure?

Influence is a performance art. The script may be great but if you butcher the delivery it will have been for naught. Since leadership begins only when there is a follower who climbs on board, Influence is the last element in making the connection – and we may therefore say it is most pivotal at the point of contact.

Put yourself in the shoes of the person to whom you are making your appeal. What would get you leaning toward wanting to trust? What would stir hope? What would energize, when so many other attempted influences merely drain spirit? What would spark possibility and the will to work for change?

With hearts so exposed do you also recognize the distinct possibility of a crushing let down? You would not want that let down person to be you. So don’t let it be them. Be true to what you are offering. Don’t put out there what you are unwilling to commit your spirit to. Show them all that is behind the curtain when you make your appeal.

And how might you keep the interest of the audience? Bring them on stage. Invite them to modify the script, to widen the performance, to render their own active part in the evolving and now shared vision of something better.

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Episode 26