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The essence of leadership is influence.
Without influence, a leader is forced to resort to the use of fear and intimidation as a means to an end. The advent of Theory X in management was simply an outgrowth of an era of leaders who felt that workers wouldn't do their best without the use of a stick for proper motivation.
The threat of job loss was and probably still is a big stick. But most leaders have learned that fear is a turnover accelerant. Yelling and screaming at a team to "work harder" yields only temporary compliance, at best.
Influence begins in the heart of a leader. I don't know how it is possible to influence anyone in the long run without a wheelbarrow full of care and compassion. The abundance of my heart is demonstrated in the manner in which I speak and take action. It is a combination of words and actions that build a relationship.
I cannot simply command a relationship into existence. Relationships are crafted over time and the fruit of the relationship is greater influence. I think many would-be leaders miss the fact that influence is a two-way street in the same way that relationships are mutually beneficial.
To be a person of influence, I must first be willing to be influenced by the needs of those I hope to lead.
A leader wouldn't suggest, "Let me influence you. See how hard I work and how much I care? Now follow me!" Meaningful care is demonstrated more than spoken.
Relationships are the seed for the fruit of influence. Leaders focus on the needs of work teams. There is a time and place to focus on the efficacy of work. But the antecedent of a highly effective work team is group influence.
A matrix of influence exists because a leader birthed a culture of meaningful relationships. Care must ooze from the crevices of every workstation. Every member of a team must feel the flow of care over time.
Organizational output increases as the quotient of care increases.
Investing time in people leads to better relationships which create deeper influence.
"And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:9-10).
Platform Tip No. 12
Think of your platform as a connection tool. How often do you want to connect with someone you care about?
How do you scale how much you care?
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president–Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's leadership e-newsletter.
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