The Secrets Successful Leaders have Learnt about Influence

Like many I watched the spectacle of the coronation of King Charles III this weekend. A ceremony which has remained little changed over 1000 years. It was interesting to watch all the different things that happened in the ceremony. Behind closed doors he was anointed with oil, an act full of meaning connecting him to the source of his authority. Watching King Charles make oaths and having the crown placed on his head I was reflecting on what kind of leader is he going to be.

“It’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position.” John C. Maxwell

The crown bestows on him his authority; it symbolises what the monarchy stands for. Positionally King Charles is a leader, as monarch he has authority however, he as all great leaders have learnt, must realise that to have impact he must be able to lead through influence. For the UK to accept his reign he needs to demonstrate the qualities that would cause you to follow him and listen to what he has to say.

To lead effectively you need to maximise your influence, this is the only way to have impact. People will follow you initially because of your position, and in the longer term because you are a leader worth following.

“Real leadership is being the person others will gladly and confidently follow.” John C. Maxwell

5 Differences of leading through Influence

1. Lead through serving rather than through dominating. Service is looking to the needs of those around you before your own. What can you do as a leader which will build confidence in those you lead?

2. Build trust. Many commentators when speaking about King Charles make the point that there was a low point after Princess Diana died and he has worked hard to change the public perception of him. Trust is a big component of this. When you have built a good reserve of trust, when you make a mistake (and own up to it) then people are more willing to forgive you and move on.

3. To lead through influence you need to make meaningful connections with those you lead. For your immediate team this means understanding their view of the world, their strengths, passions, skills, and dreams. People follow when there is more than just a head connection; when people’s hearts are moved then your influence is much greater.

4. Leaders, influence through their vision of the future. Are you clear on where you are going? Do the people you are leading see it too? People follow when they can see a compelling view of the future clearly articulated. Almost so they can see, feel, and smell it. Be clear on your vision, on what it looks like and what will be better if you achieve it. King Charles through the Prince’s Trust has realised a vision of helping young people get help to make something of their life, even start new businesses.

5. For people to follow you must model the behaviours you want to see. This is an issue of integrity. Do you walk your talk? The axiom more is caught than taught is never more apparent than in the relationship between a parent and child. If you say one thing but do another it will seriously undermine your influence. Are you clear on your expectations of others and do you expect the same from yourself?

“We desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.” Brené Brown

Ultimately, I believe in order to maximise his influence King Charles needs to lead from his heart. As a leader you must do the same.

Mark Billage

Mark Billage

Mark’s passion is to help realise individuals’ potential, be they leaders or team members, through empowering organisational culture. He has spent 7 years leading an organisation based in the non profit sector. In that time, he focused on creating a culture that enabled and empowered individuals, with the aim of seeing a high performing team better able to achieve the organisation’s mission.

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