Influence and Leadership

Anyone can be a leader. However, a leader doesn’t mean that you automatically have influence.

Influence and persuasion doesn't come with the “Become a Leader Without Practice” package. Influence and leadership are skills that you need to learn. 

Anyone can be a leader, but you decide whether you’re going to be a good one or a bad one. To be a good leader you need to have influence and persuasion skills and realize what power really means.

Let’s start with the idea of power.

When you think of power, you probably think of a rich man who can get anyone to do what he wants. People praise him, and he’s kind of intimidating.

Is that power? Yes. Is that power that matters? Yes… but not in the way that has a positive impact in the world.

The question now is what’s good power? How do you develop and influence and power without seeming like a corrupt old man?

Good power means having influence over people, not control. It means that you use your connections or your money and your actions for good.

There are lots of ways that you can develop this type of influence and power. We’re going to talk about 3 specifically! 

1. You need to have great persuasion skills

To clarify, persuasion is not manipulation. Manipulation is about getting someone to do something that they’re not sure they want to do. Persuasion is about convincing someone to do something that they do want to do.

Influence and persuasion go hand in hand because you can persuade someone more easily if you have influence over them. As evil as this sounds, I don’t mean it that way!

To develop influence and leadership skills you need to follow the two steps down below, and be real. People trust those that are real with them because they know right away that you’ll have their backs.

On a more technical level, you really need to understand the people looking up to you. Figure out a common goal that everyone is willing to work toward, and show them that you have the skills to get to that goal. Most importantly, you want them to feel something that will really get them to achieve the goal. 

You do this by creating a story. I don’t mean a Once upon a time type of thing, I mean give them a scenario in which they can see themselves being great, winning, and changing the world. Make them feel something that will push them to work harder.

2.  Honesty will get you far

You need to be open with the people around you to have great influence and power because people see right through you when you’re not honest. You’re not trustworthy, and you won’t have anyone “following” you because you seem sketchy.

Don’t be afraid to say I don’t know, be open and encourage people without sounding fake, and smile. People are attracted to those who smile, it makes you more approachable and easy-going, which is a good thing.

3.  Be confident

A good leader is confident in themselves, in their group, and in their goals and overall vision. If you don’t display the confidence you need to, say take a risk, then everyone else is going to doubt you, and you won’t have any influence.

People want to “follow” someone who knows what they’re doing, not looking around confused at everything around them as if they were lost in the middle of the forest.

Keep your head up, and don’t look worried. If you’re worried other people start getting worried. The last thing you want in a workplace, school, or if you really are in the middle of the forest, is chaos and worry. Those two things will only make things worse.

All in all, just be you but more confident. Follow these three things, and you’ll develop influence and power!

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