The Art Of Leadership and Influencing Teams
Updated: Aug 26
What is leadership? What makes a good leader? Leadership was once defined to me as "the art of influencing people to willingly achieve an organisations goals" regardless of position, authority, or power. This definition has long stuck with me and guided me in my quest to always improve myself as a leader, helping those around and above me succeed was always a key to my personal success and purpose.
What is leadership?
While I was never able to define what it was until fairly recently, I can say with conviction that it's the ability to influence someone's thinking, feelings, actions, feelings and actions in a positive way. As a leader, I had long convinced myself that only 'ultimate leaders' could be an effective leader, that wasn't the case, what made them a leader is that they were able to communicate with their employees and also persuade their employees to achieve their desired outcomes. This leads me to the next key component of a good leader, I am learning that to be a good leader, you need to believe you have a point of view and want to persuade people to think and act as you do.
The foundations of leadership
With that in mind, I have decided to compile some of the ideas of leadership that I believe make a great leader, in the context of business and entrepreneurship. These are my rules and what I believe to be the keys to any successful and long term business: Entrepreneurs must not fear the unexpected. The unknown is often a safe haven for risk and entrepreneurship needs to be no different. The emergence of the sharing economy and technology has not only affected and transformed existing businesses, but new businesses, enterprises and initiatives. However, much of this innovation has been fuelled by the characteristics of entrepreneurship and the willingness to disrupt the status quo.
The traits of a good leader
One of the key traits to leadership is influence. There are two types of influence – persuasion and coercion. persuasion is where you use skilfully crafted persuading tactics, gestures, verbal encouragement and persuasion. The power of persuasion will inspire people to do things they did not think they could do. Constraint on power is where you use force or coercion to make someone do things. Although it is much harder to persuade, using force can also be effective. Great leaders build teams that are empowered to have an impact Although leaders are viewed by society as being set in their positions, what makes a leader a leader?
How to be a good leader
I believe to be a successful leader it takes mastery of the five elements of influencing people to freely achieve an organisation's goals regardless of their position or authority. These elements are Engaging your team with vision, passion, focus, and purpose. Focusing on identifying the most essential strengths of your team, prioritising and valuing those people at the forefront of the organisation, Encouraging your team to take ownership of their success and the organisation's success. Allowing your team to voice their ideas and ideas. Creating a safe space for all people to voice their concerns and be empowered to solve problems together. But there's more to it than that. The A-list influencers, leaders, and change agents will always reference the overbearing influence of creativity.
Gaining the respect and trust of your team
The thing I have learnt over the past 12 years of being in business is that not all leaders are capable of doing this, you can be a long time employee of a company and find yourself feeling disconnected from your company. A team of any size can be a great environment for growth and success if leaders can create an environment where the team truly see you as someone who values their feedback and ideas, who has their back, who can put you in your place if you don't make the right decision. In short, a strong leadership can turn a team of average to average into a fantastic team of high performers, it is not about power and authority it is about your ability to influence them. Being self-aware I think it's important to be mindful of what you do and say in a leadership role.
How being a good leader influences people in a positive way
The ability to lead is a complex skill, but one that everyone should possess and one that makes a massive difference to the way a company runs and positively impacts the people and environment around you. For most, these skills are developed through practice, good teachers, and an openness to learning new things. These skills are like writing a piece of software, but to get good at it you need to put your head down, write something new, and develop the algorithms, write and review your code, re-write and write and review your code, only then will you become good at it. The same can be said for leadership.
There are some key take-aways here for leaders in any industry. If you want your employees to be committed and determined to reach your goals, create a good environment for them to do so. The employees are always going to be more loyal to an organisation that cares enough about them. Nothing is worse than a motivated employee who feels like they are doing a disservice to their organisation. How about you, do you think that our definition of leadership is accurate? Do you agree with my definition? Or do you think that our definitions of leadership differ, how would you define good leadership?