Leaders are MADE they are not born. Fearless Leadership is perhaps the greatest of all the transformational theories. Fearless Leadership believes you can achieve what you want to achieve, but it goes a step further and provides you with the eight attributes to develop transformational leadership for those around you in the face of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. In previous weeks I have explored 7 of the 8 attributes:
- Leaders have VISION for what they want to achieve.
- Leaders build, invest, nurture & manage RELATIONSHIPS.
- Leaders intentionally develop their BRAND & reputation.
- Leaders develop systems that make them PRODUCTIVE.
- Leaders COMMUNICATE clearly & consistently to their audience.
- Leaders demonstrate & display EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.
- Leaders set GOALS and achieve them through focused pursuit.
Influence, is the 8th and final attribute to becoming a fearless leader. Leaders fuel their vision by positively INFLUENCING others. We have all witnessed people who have the ability to influence others to do things beyond what they would normally do – both good and bad things. Think of your social media feed, it is filled with people known as “influencers”. From makeup tutorials to tips on how to make money fast, to those making funny dances with their friends and families and then getting signed to promoted products – we are surrounded by individuals influencing us.
There is a lot of science and art to influence, and people have been influenced by others since Adam & Eve. So, what makes one person more influential than another? What makes people listen to a particular voice or opinion over another’s? Let’s outline three key things you can do to build your influence over others.
First, practice inquiry over advocacy.
The art of inquiry is to ask others their thoughts, opinions and feelings. When you ask others first, they tend to be more open-minded to listening to your thoughts. Open-minded people are much more influenceable than close-minded.
Second, listen attentively.
Most people hear very well but listen poorly. There is a real difference. If you can become a good listener, you will be in the best position to influence others. Becoming a good listener is not as easy as it may appear, it takes a lot of practice and you have to learn to quiet your mind while the other person speaks. Too many of us are outlining our talking points in our head while the other person is talking.
Once you have inquired vs advocated, listened in place of hearing, you are now prepared to launch into influencing with clarity.
The clearer you are, the more influence you will command. Mount a complicated and complex argument talking in circles, and people won’t know how to follow you. Outline a clear path to achieving a goal that uses the information you learned from asking questions and listening and your influence increases by over 75% – that is the science part.
Each of the attributes we have outlined – vision, brand, relationships, communication, emotional intelligence, and goals play a role in establishing your influence across your family, friends, colleagues, and community. If you have a vision other people can believe in, they will be influenced. If you build and nurture relationships, people will follow. If your brand is solid as a rock for others to rely on, then your influential sphere will grow. If you are able to read your audience and communicate with them on their wavelength, then your influence will accelerate. If you possess EQ, you will be aware of the situation, your emotions, and that of those around you. And if you are clear in your goals that lead to actions that lead to a bigger purpose – a vision – then people will be influenced and in turn influence others to follow your Fearless Leadership.