There are many definitions of leadership out there, but the consistent theme through all of them all is ‘influence’.
Leadership is the application of ‘influence’ in enlisting the support of others in the accomplishment of our vision or goal (whatever that is).
When I am speaking on the subject of leadership, I often ask people to raise their hands if they are a leader.
Depending on the type of audience between 25 and 50% of the room will raise their hands.
This interests me because it suggests that leadership is still considered by many to be about authority as opposed to influence.
All successful recognise that their success comes through and as a result of other people. Whether you are a business owner, a manager, a therapist, a trainer, or a parent, your success is dependent on your ability to influence others, and this makes you a leader.
So, how do we influence others?
The first thing is to accept is that leadership is not a skill. Leadership is a set of behaviours. People are influenced more by what we say and do (and how we say and do it) than they are by what we ‘can’ do.
And this is where iLEAD is so effective! The ‘i’ of course represents ‘influence’ and LEAD represents the 4 channels through which we influence others.
L is for LANGUAGE (The WORDS you use)
Whether it’s verbally: in person, one to one or one to many, on the phone, or in in writing, the language we use contributes to how others perceive who we are and what we stand for.
When you seek to communicate a message in order to influence another person, the language you choose is extremely important. Every single word you use contains meaning from which other people gain understanding, and because people think in both words and sentences, when you are able to influence language, you are effectively able to influence thought.
E is for Educate (The KNOWLEDGE you have)
Whether it’s our knowledge, our skills, our experience(s), or our opinions, the information we impart plays a huge part in the perception people have of who we are and what we’re about.
The method you use to impart your education, whether that’s through mentoring, coaching, training or writing, says as much about you as your actual content does. Equally, the way you share that education is important: people are inspired more by ‘why’ we believe what we believe than they are by what we believe, so the more you share about yourself, the more they will engage with you.Whether it’s our personal values, our beliefs, what we are thinking or how we are feeling, our mindset affects the influence we have over ourselves which affects how we deal with others.
A is for ATTITUDE (The MINDSET you hold)
How you feel about yourself and how you view the world impacts on how you relate to other people. Your attitude is reflected in everything you say and do, in how you deal with self-doubt and fear and in how you respond to failure and rejection.
Your attitude can both draw people to you, and it can repel people from you. It can open doors of opportunity, and equally it can close them.Whether it’s the language we use, the education we impart or the attitude we portray, it is how those things manifest in our behaviour day to day that influences other people to buy into us or not.
D is for DEMONSTRATE (The BEHAVIOUR you exhibit)
What you actually ‘do’ is what other people observe and therefore form judgement on. Demonstration is about how your beliefs and your values are reflected in your behaviour and how that inspires others to change theirs.
It’s about living in your integrity and behaving in a way that is congruent with who you claim to be. It’s about both being that person, and also being seen to be that person.
When you apply iLEAD, your language is more considered, your education is more engaging, your attitude is more supportive of your vision or goal and as result, the behaviour you demonstrate is aligned with those things.
The impact is that your ability to influence people to listen, watch, read, follow, advocate, and indeed buy from you is significantly enhanced.
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