Leadership Is Influence

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“Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”

         –    Leadership “proverb”

On a production line, the foreman of Tiger Team yells to “hurry it up,” the parts get made faster, safety suffers, and quality drops off.  The line workers have five or six ideas for how to improve speed without sacrificing quality (or body parts) but the manager says, “No!  Just do what I told you to do faster!  I’m the top-ranked manager in the factory, and we want to stay on top!”

The line is so-well managed, the guys upstairs can’t understand why all the recalls are coming from Tiger Team.  The members of Tiger Team can’t figure out why their manager keeps getting plaques for his wall.  Tiger Team, by some measures might be well-managed, but it’s poorly-led.

RearView Technologies Board of Directors has engaged ReallySmart Consulting to quantify market trends and propose strategies for changes in the market.  Their work is extremely thorough and contains tons of competitive intel that is “sure thing” sourced.

“That’s some OK work,” says the CFO to the consultants, “but there’s no way that competitor could afford to structure the deal that way.  We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing, thank you very much.  Buh-bye.”  In this case, RearView Technologies is both poorly-managed and poorly-led.

Whether we’re tasked with overseeing part of a production line or an entire company, the sooner we understand the connection between leadership and influence, the more fingers our line workers will keep, and the more relevant our company will be.  It’s about personal influence instead of position power, and managing from position power is a race to irrelevance, because good people will leave.

Leading via influence, on the other hand, will make a difference in good markets and bad, large companies and small.  Leading via influence spans blue collar, white collar, multi-national and super-micro-market companies.

Leadership, it turns out, is influence.  (And vice versa!)

 


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Trackbacks

  1. […] “If you can’t influence people, then they will not follow you.  And if people won’t follow, you are not a leader.  That’s the Law of Influence.” […]

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