The wind and the sun decided to have a competition to decide who was stronger. They agreed that the winner would be the one who could persuade a man to take off his coat. The wind blew and blew, but the man held on more tightly to his coat. Then the sun shone gently down, and within minutes, the man took off his coat.
— Aesop’s Fable The Wind and the Sun
The moral of the preceding fable is that you can’t force someone to do what they don’t want to do. Instead, the art of influential leadership is to get them to want what you want.
Leadership is changing significantly: No longer is it about hitting the numbers or holding a “position” over employees so they will perform in ways that only benefit the facts and figures. Chasing after accolades, awards and achievements also no longer bring fulfillment to leaders. What brings genuine fulfillment is investing in the lives of people.
Influential leadership is about crafting a work culture that allows employees to thrive, be inspired, work to their fullest potential and feel safe. In this new culture, the leader stands back and cheers on his or her team to create a shared experience of accomplishment. When this culture is in place, employees become high performers and the numbers, facts and figures show up.
Following are a few of the “Be Attitudes of Influential Leadership,” which I’ll cover during my session at Conference in New Orleans (www.nrpa.org/conference2017). They can help leaders reap influential benefits in their organization and have a lifelong impact on their staff.
- Be Authentic: Authenticity builds trust — a key element in providing a feeling of safety in order to create a team’s highest potential. Become a master communicator with those on your staff and you will establish credibility with them and see how they follow your lead.
- Be Generous: Giving of your time and energy with affirmations, compliments and a positive attitude builds an altruistic environment. Showing concern and demonstrating a genuine interest in others reveal empathy and trustworthiness. Look for opportunities to demonstrate small acts of generosity and kindness; you will see your team transform to be cooperative, energized and enjoy coming to work.
- Be Believable: Influential leaders show respect and fairness in a challenge or conflict, which stacks in favor of the restoration of relationships. When this happens, the leader becomes believable.
Just as the sun shone gently down on the man who took off his coat, the essence of true leadership is sacrifice and service to others. People follow influential leaders because of who they are and what they have done for them. If you desire to see profound transformation as a leader and to learn how to develop these “BE” attitudes, join me in New Orleans.
Kim Sellars, BAS-Psychology, is a Leadership Development Specialist, Blogger, Author and Speaker.