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The most common misconception about leadership is that power comes from having a title or a position. However, this is not really true.

You don’t need to have a position in order to lead, get things done, or develop your influence. Nor do you have to work for a great leader to be successful. The best way to get along with colleagues, get work done, or even work with your boss better is to develop your own influence.

Develop Your Influence: Who People Want to Follow

To become a better leader and increase your influence, you have to work on becoming the kind of person that people want to follow. Consider these qualities which anyone can develop.

People follow someone they know – and someone who cares. If you care about people as individuals, then those individuals will respond well to you.

People also follow people they trust – someone who has good character. If you want to develop influence, then work on developing and demonstrating the kind of character that you would like in a good leader. By creating good relationships with others today you are preparing yourself for greater leadership roles in the future

People follow people they respect – someone who has a high level of competence. While bad leaders demand respect, competent leaders command respect. Being able to do their job well gives a person credibility. When you think you can do the job, that’s called confidence. But when you actually can do the job-that’s competence.

People follow people they admire – Think of some of the leaders you admire. Two of the first qualities that probably come to mind are their commitment and competence.

What to Expect on the Influence Journey

As you try to become the best leader you can, try to keep these things in mind:

Leadership is a journey that begins right where you are, and not where you want to be. This means you have to focus on what you’re doing now. You need to concentrate on your current responsibilities, not the ones you want to have someday. In order to succeed, you need to do your job with excellence and build good relationships to develop greater influence.

Then, when you get called up to another level of leadership, the quality of your performance must rise. Your best chance is to grow on your level and learn as much as you can to be better at the next level, since bigger responsibilities can only come after handling smaller ones well.

If you have never led before, you need to start by trying to influence only one other person. When you have some influence, you should try to build a team.

If you want to test your ability to influence people, then try leading volunteers. Why is that so hard? Because with them, you have no leverage. It takes every bit of leadership skills and influence you have to get people who don’t have to obey to do what you ask them to.

So, if your company has any kind of community service focus, you should volunteer. See how other people will respond when you try and get things done through a team. Then, you will have an idea of how good your influencing ability is. If you lead volunteers well, you probably possess many of the qualities to go to a higher level in your organization.

Discover the best way to develop your influence, consistently connect with your leadership team, and predictably turn them into highly engaged employees. Call me for some complimentary advice. Book an appointment at or call me at +1 (604) 943-0800.


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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734