Look familiar? Ever feel like you are trying to lead a team this way?
I’ve worked with many clients at different levels of the leadership cycle, from CEO’s to new leaders. A common theme amongst them all is the challenge of leading by influence rather than through power. Whether it’s a CEO working with an advisory board, or a new leader working with a cross-functional team, leading through influence is a whole different animal than straight leadership of those reporting to you. Although it takes a lot of focus and energy, it can be obtained by:
1. Building relationships, establishing credibility-there’s nothing better than one on one meetings with individuals that you need to work with, but who don’t report directly to you. Give them a taste of how you work, what your strengths are and your expectations, then ask them about theirs.
2. Making sure everyone is heard and engaged-if you notice some members of the team who haven’t had an opportunity to give any input, make sure you ask them. When suggestions and ideas are presented, make sure they are acknowledged and considered.
3. Being respectful of everyone’s time-show up on time, start meetings on time with agendas, end meetings on time, you know the drill.
4. Being responsive-don’t disappear. You need to be visible and approachable with consistent communication. Nothing kills influence faster than non-responsiveness. It sends a message that others aren’t important to you.
5. Underpromising and Overdelivering-need I say more?