When it comes to leadership, which do you think is better: authority or influence? According to Fast Company, “a leader who applies influence rather than asserts authority is likelier to succeed.” Why is this? For one, associating with your employees instead of asserting authority over them makes for more communication and gives the employees a feeling of importance and stronger ties with the project of which they are assigned. The second positive effect of influential leadership is that it helps women overcome the double standard that being in charge and giving orders is seen as bossy and demanding, yet considered a strong leadership approach when coming from a male. Keep reading to find out the 3 ways to include influence in the workplace and in your personal leadership style.
- Moderate control. You’re probably thinking right now, “How can I be a leader if I don’t assert control and authority?” The idea isn’t to cancel out control completely, but moderate the control you do put forth. Again, Fast Company explains it well: “Leaders don’t need to cede control altogether, just apply it strategically and without micromanaging.” Guide and explain along the way without smothering your employees’ creativity and work. This system allows your employees some creative freedom, making them more motivated and excited about doing their best work.
- Inspire commitment. Keeping employees committed to your projects means keeping them engaged. Do this by encouraging everyone’s ideas to be shared and considered. Influential leadership means relying heavily on teamwork among employees. This type of teamwork is more than just working together. Interpersonal ties within group members promotes more commitment among the members, thereby inspiring more committed work production and quality.
- Sell yourself. Your employees won’t put much effort into an objective if they don’t believe in the mind behind the objectives. Make sure your employees know that you are qualified and prepared to handle the tasks ahead. Create emotional connections with your employees so they have confidence in you as a leader; as someone who has the experience and wisdom to ensure success in all endeavors.
Anyone can play the scary, bossy leader that motivates through fear. Instead, motivate your employees with excitement and interest in their tasks. Your influence on your organization should not include micromanaging, should inspire commitment among your employees, and should prove your expertise and capability to lead the tasks at hand.