"The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority."
I'm sure we have all heard the quote "Good leaders are hard to find", and in a way this is true. We always look for inspiration from someone to take us on the journey we believe our business should go in, but what if you are looking in all the wrong directions? What if that leader is really you? Whether you are a CEO, an accountant, an tech team member or a warehouse operative, this following blog applies to YOU. We all have the ability within us to drive our business forward regardless of qualification, job role, or pay grade. You don't have to have authority to be a leader. This is the common misconception of leadership. It's not always done from the front.
It is in our nature to rebel. If it's cold we want warmth, if it is warm we want cold, we tend to stray away from status quo, all on our own, and prove to be dismissive of what we deem to be leadership. The idea of leadership has been muddied by poor leaders who believe a strong whip and a firm hand are the best way to produce results. That culture has caused us to rebel against conformity. In certain cases, rebellion is not a bad thing, but you can be sure it doesn't always produce the best results. So, if it is ingrained in us to rebel from authority, how do we become a good leader when our followers instincts are to go against our instruction and motives? The answer to this question is simple... Influence.
Being influential is the best trait a true leader can have. Someone, who is not afraid to lead from the back (Hence why it doesn't matter about your job role or pay grade). Natural born leaders are the ones who make us strive for greatness, inspire us to do better and give us the push in the right direction to achieve the best results. Sharing a road with someone is always better than running the race alone. I believe our current generation of professionals are beginning to experience this. We are coming away from the 'ball and chain' styled leadership and embracing the influential phase of leadership. Businesses do not need more leaders, they need more inspirational and influential people at every level of the company, instilling a rivaled work ethic and a profound look on the task in hand. We need people who want to carry us over the finish line, not someone who stands at the end like a drill sergeant screaming you through to the finish.
If you find yourself stuck in a regime of 'ball and chain' leaders, be the change you want to see in your business. Be influential to everyone around you. Instill confidence, praise people when they achieve and lift them up when they don't. Don't allow the out of date leaders to dictate the atmosphere of your business anymore. You alone can show strength, growth and agility no matter what department you work in. This is what brings the best results, this is what makes a company great. When we succeed we succeed together. No more fat cats getting fatter but a workforce and a business that becomes industry leaders by the ethos their whole company carries, not just a select elite.
"When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your job is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is - everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.
I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again." - Rob Siltanen