Jump Start Your Level of Influence

When you start out in a new position with a new organization, your level of influence will probably be low. This will limit your effectiveness as a leader until you begin to build influence.

In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, John defines several factors that can affect your influence. So let’s take a look at these and see how we can make a better start in a new role.

Character is who you are. In a new role, people around you will not know your character. You must make sure you demonstrate your values in your decisions and your actions. Consistency will be key to making sure people understand your character.

Relationships are who you know. In a new role, you may not know many people around you. You will need to focus on connecting with those people and building a relationship. This will not happen by accident. You must be intentional in goal to build true relationships.

Knowledge is what you know. This is usually why you are in a new role. Knowledge is one of the key factors evaluated when organizations hire. However, never assume your knowledge is the only knowledge. You will need to contribute, and go beyond the normal effort in explanation, training, and demonstrating your knowledge.

Intuition is what you feel. In a new environment, it will be important to be sensitive to what is going on around you. Using reflection as a tool to make sure you understand your new environment.

Experience is where you have been. Leverage your past experience. Are there people in your past that can help in your new situation?

Past Success is what you’ve done. Your past success may have helped you get in the door, but it is not going to keep you in your new role. What you do today is what matters, not what you did yesterday.

Ability is what you can do. In a new role, use all your abilities. Do not take short cuts, and make sure your effort is 100%. Anything less can be interpreted as a lack of ability, a lack of passion, a lack of involvement or all of the above.

Increasing your level of influence will take time. It will not happen quickly, because it takes time for people to believe in you. You can put it on a positive trajectory and accelerate it with the correct intentional actions.

Once you are on the right track, momentum will be on your side. Keep doing the right things, and adding value to all those around you, and your influence will increase.

Three Things Everyone Needs to Know About Leadership

Leadership should be important for everyone. Whether you are leading a team, an organization, or just yourself, leadership skills are linked to your personal success.

Everyone knows a least one person that was promoted to a leadership position before they were ready. These people stand out in our memory because of the mistakes they make, and usually their fall from a leadership position.

I remember one such individual, Frank, who upon their promotion promptly changed their work habits. Frank’s daily routine became “observing and managing” his employees. He complained about their methods. He pushed them for more output, and complained when they failed. Productivity fell about 18% and Frank was replaced.

This story repeats itself over and over in many businesses and organizations. If you want the chance to lead, and be successful, you need to be intentional about preparing yourself.

Understanding these three keys of leadership potential is important:

1. Your success is limited by your leadership skill.

You will never be more successful then your ability to lead. John Maxwell describes this as the “Leadership Lid”. Your leadership skill limits your potential.

2. You can increase your leadership skill and your potential for success.

The good news is that leadership skills can be learned. No one is perfect in all areas of leadership. Great leaders continue to develop their skills and build a team to help compliment their weaknesses.

3. Leading yourself is 80% of the job.

Preparing to lead others is easier if you learn to lead yourself. Make the effort to be the best you can be. Learn to connect and help others. If you can add value to your team, your co-workers, your friends, then you are heading in the right direction.