I have been writing and sharing some thoughts on the topic of influence. As John Maxwell has taught, and I believe, the definition of leadership is influence.

Your influence on another person is critical in your leadership. It is true that when we influence another person, they benefit. However, we must own and continue developing the skills required to influence and change behavior to achieve better results.

Your influence is not about you. Influence is the experience you create for someone based on what they see, hear, and understand. That is the key differentiator. It means the responsibility shifts from the listener or reader to the communicator. The bottom line is we must earn the right for people to listen.

What I know to be true is we influence people by what we say and how we make them feel. It is essential we connect and engage with them in a way they think about them and not our plan.

The following represent qualities or characteristics a leader should possess to have influence:

  • Trustworthy
  • Credible
  • Confident
  • Passionate
  • Authentic
  • Consistent
  • Empathetic
  • Knowledgeable

This might be a good time to assess how you measure against these characteristics. Remember, influence is leadership.