Leadership ability and the ability to influence others go hand in hand. There can be little to no actual leadership when the leader is unable to create a positive influence within the organization. Influence is everything when it comes to leadership. Those who have influence lead the organization and those without the influence are unable to effectively lead.
Leaders need to enhance their ability to have influence and utilize it in a positive manner. Influence seems especially important within nonprofit organizations. Remember nonprofits are often volunteer driven and there is little actual power over the people. The need for influence is especially crucial.
1. Build relationships with people
Leaders need to be aware of their need to build and maintain relationships. Influence does not happen in a vacuum but instead happens through connections with people. Influence is built upon the foundation of relationships. Relationships are the backbone of influence and without proper relationships, there can be no lasting influence with people.
2. Understand the reality of influence
Leaders need to understand that there can be no real impact on their organization without influence. Influence is simply the ability to make a positive impact on other people. Many times leaders manipulate people by using their influence to get people to merely do their bidding. Influence can be used in a negative manner. Positive influence always puts the other person first and has their best interests in mind.
3. Communicate effectively
Leaders who have the ability to communicate effectively, also increase their ability to influence other people. Communicating with other people can dramatically increase the level of influence a leader possesses.
4. Develop a track record
Leaders need to understand that the development of proven effectiveness can raise influence within the organization. When the leader develops the ability to be effective the people within the organization are far more likely to listen and follow the leader. Only when the leader has proven their ability and their leadership will the organization finally get on board and move forward with the leader.
5. Influence rises above position
When the leader proves their ability and their loyalty to the organization, people will readily follow. The reality is that the leader will see their influence rise above just one that comes from position. The leader will establish a new level of influence because of who they are and what they have done for the organization.
Leaders need to learn to increase their success and their ability to influence others. There are amazingly simple ways to insure more influence within the organization. Leaders need to intentionally build relationships with people because relationships are the building blocks o influence. Leaders need to be aware of their need to increase and enhance their ability to influence others.
Communication is an incredible asset when it comes to effective influence and leadership. Influence also comes when leaders develop a proven track record with the organization. People are more likely to follow when they know the leader is able to get things accomplished. When the leader develops influence with the people in their organization, they rise above their title and their designated position. People do not follow because of the position a leader possesses but because of the influence the leader possesses.