Leadership rises and falls on your ability to influence others.
Thankfully, it is a skill you can study, learn, and develop over time. So how do you develop and grow your influence?
Consider these seven things:
Be someone others can trust. People influence people. Ideas don’t influence people. Campaigns don’t influence people. Only people influence people.
Be confident in yourself. How you present yourself greatly impacts how other people perceive you. If you’re not confident in yourself (or people don’t perceive you to be), it’s unlikely they will have confidence in you, too.
Be genuinely interested in other people. As the old saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Be knowledgeable. This is especially true about the areas in which you are trying to influence others. Know your stuff. If you don’t, that will eventually surface. And at that point, you’re risking all your credibility.
Be committed. Stay the course, even when the obstacles seem impossible and potentially destructive. Keep going for it.
Be authentic. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. And don’t try to defend or advocate for a position you don’t believe is true. Your true self will eventually shine through.
Be persuasive. This is often assumed in leadership circles, but I wouldn’t go that far. It’s time to rediscover what it means to capture the attention of others by creating a compelling narrative.
Influence Is a Verb
Notice I didn’t outline seven ideas. Rather, they were seven behaviors. Leadership is a verb, and so is influence. That means you have to take action if you want to see change take place in you and the people around you. If you incorporate these seven actions into your life and leadership, you'll multiply your leadership capacity.
Influence is part of how God has wired you and enabled you to be part of the solution. When your divine design is fully activated, you will have the capacity to influence others to join you and work. If you want to know who has influence, look to see what change is taking place around them.