Leadership is all about your ability to influence those around you. Strong leaders have great influence. People listen when they speak. People are moved by their dreams and inspired to action by their challenge. Weak leaders, on the other hand, have very little influence. Their followers don’t believe in their character or their words. They resist the weak leaders call to action.
First, leadership exists only in the context of relatedness. Simply stated, you can only lead people to the extent you have a positive and personal connection to them. To be a strong leader you must get to know your people. You must show interest in their welfare and demonstrate your understanding of their world. Leaders who ignore the need to be connected to their people soon find that when they turn around, no one is behind them.
I often ask leaders to ask their people to state the first three words that come to mind when they think of their leader. This is a great exercise to better understand the extent and quality of your connectedness.
Do your people see you as someone who knows where she is going, who sees the obstacles along that pathway but has solid and believable strategies to overcome them? Or, do they see you as someone who is so disconnected from their reality that they don’t think you have a clue as to how to create success and wellbeing for the business?
Once you collect your three words you can decide if this how you want to be perceived. If not, you have some work to do. If so, get ready for the next step in becoming a more powerful and effective leader.