Think about the best boss you ever worked for. What made this boss better than the others? How did they inspire you to do better at your job?
Most likely, the attitude of this boss was the underpinning of their success. The best part of this revelation is this means we all can cultivate leadership qualities within ourselves because attitude is so critical to successful leadership. However, success is just one aspect of leadership, being an influential leader is more than success – influential leaders have the ability to transform their workplaces and create a new paradigm for success. Not only do these leaders contribute to their company’s bottom line, but they contribute to a culture as well – and a great culture is always indicative of success.
Here are six skills all influential leaders have mastered:
Communication: Influential leaders make their points in clear, concise, and unambiguous terms. This clarity of communication is evocative of the positive attitude they bring to all situations. When people have nothing to hide, they speak boldly and clearly. Also, the communication is honest, forthright, and objective. Influential leaders don’t deal in subjective feedback, they simply use objective, indisputable data to show their charges where they are and where they can be.
Organization: Influential leaders are never caught off-guard because they are well-organized. The method of organization differs, but influential leaders are aware of everything their team is doing even though they may not be micromanaging them. They know where to find the right resources and where the answers to team member questions are. Organization helps these leaders have a positive attitude – they don’t get frustrated looking because they are secure with the knowledge that instead of looking they simply refer to their system.
Emotional Intelligence: Influential leaders always have their finger on the pulse of their team’s emotions. These leaders know when to turn up the throttle and when to pull back. They understand who responds to pressure and who needs reassurance. Understanding their team’s emotional state allows these leaders security in knowing where the team is and where they need to go in order to reach their goals.
Focus: Influential leaders don’t get lost in the day-to-day minutiae but instead are focused on the near-future. They know what needs to get done and their actions are oriented to achieving these goals and not getting lost. For their team, this focus is reassuring. Despite all the craziness that may occur each day, they know the leader is keeping them on the right track. Being focused helps improve everyone’s attitude and morale because nothing is as dispiriting as feeling lost and living through drama.
Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses: This doesn’t just refer to the leader, but the team as well. Maybe Mike is better at talking to customers than Mary, but Mary is exceptionally organized and Mike flies by the seat of his pants. Influential leaders exploit these strengths – Mike will handle most of the customer interactions while Mary makes sure all the data Mike needs is easily available. Because Mary doesn’t have the pressure of customer interaction, she’s that much more effective in her job, and the same holds true for Mike. Both employees feel greater confidence and as a result their attitudes are positioned for success.
Mentoring: Influential leaders take individuals under their wing and help them learn. The best leaders feel a great sense of validation when their people get promoted or obtain incredible positions at other companies. The best way to tell if a leader is influential is look at the people the leader has led. Often these leaders will see their techniques employed by their protégés in these new positions.
Being an influential leader is not something beyond anyone’s capability. If your attitude is positive and open minded, you can use all these skills to maximum advantage. Most importantly, the people in your company will benefit from your use of these skills because you’ll be part of building a positive, objective-oriented culture.
“Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others.” Ryan C. Lowe