The talent, bravery, and poise he displayed helped to bring about the desegregation of professional sports in the United States. In breaking the color barrier in baseball, the life of Jackie Robinson offers valuable insights on the nature of influence.
Photo by mxrubenAvailable at www. In fact, I am developing a greater sense that looking at leadership as influence may actually be dangerous. Influence is the result of leadership either good or bad. Leadership comes from within. But influence is the effect, not the essence of leadership. So how can it be dangerous to think of leadership as influence?
If we take that definition to logical extremes, I see two dangerous situations: Misuse—Too strong a focus on influence can encourage a leader to abuse his power and position.
If leadership is influence then a leader in a position of power has a greater propensity to misuse that power. The problem with this is that we then begin to discourage diversity of thought. Effective leadership should be about the ability to lead in the midst of diversity.
Focusing on the results of leadership draws attention to the wrong dimension—influence. So, if not influence, what is the essence of leadership?
1) Leadership is influence. Manipulating others, forcing people to do your bidding, arbitrarily granting privileges to some people while excluding others—none of these behaviors represents legitimate influence. What I’ve come to realize is that leadership is not influence; influence is an effect of leadership. Influence is the result of leadership (either good or bad). Leadership comes from within. It comes from our being and produces changes in others’ thinking and behavior, thus influence. But influence is the effect, not the essence of leadership. Leadership is a process that involves p ower and influence (Northouse, ). There are several studies defining power and influence. For example, Ott described power as, "the latent ability to influence others’ actions, thoughts, or emotions” (Denhardt et al, ).
I stated above that leadership comes from within. Accepting that, then the essence of leadership must also come from within.
After thinking about the many excellent leaders I have studied, interviewed, and befriended, the essence of leadership became very clear to me. They inspire confidence among followers, not because of what they have accomplished, but because they are transparent about who they are and even predictable in their execution of leadership.
In contrast, ineffective leaders are those who, lacking authenticity, are hard to trust because what they say and do is not necessarily consistent with or founded in any given set of values and beliefs.
As the winds of organizational life shift, so too does their approach to leadership. They create confusion and even fear among followers. Are you an authentic leader? Start to find out by asking followers whom you know will be honest with you these three questions: Do I more often inspire confidence or confusion in the organization?
Can you identify three of my values? How consistent is my leadership with those values? The answers to those questions will give you some insight into the degree of authenticity in your leadership.
If the feedback you get indicates trouble, ask yourself if you have been focusing too much on the effects of leadership, influence, and not enough on your own being and authenticity.
Leadership is not influence.Many people equate leadership with influence. While I agree that this is an important component, it is not the whole story. The 5 Marks of Authentic Leadership [Podcast] In this podcast episode, I talk the essence of authentic leadership. What is it? Is it simply influence or is it something more.
I have always been fascinated by this. How to Be a Winner and Influence Anybody: The Fruit of the Spirit As the Essence of Leadership Hardcover – May 1, by James Merritt (Author) › Visit Amazon's James Merritt Page.
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Author: James Merritt. Leadership and influence go hand in hand. In these next couple of blog posts I want to deconstruct influence, so that you can increase in your influence. My father is a great leader and someone of immense influence in his field. You have to develop skills and mindsets for the challenges of managing conflict, handling difficult conversations and carrying out effective negotiations.
This module will deal with the topics of influence, conflict management, handling difficult conversations, negotiation and decision making. Our values influence every decision and move we make, even to the point of how we choose to make our decisions (Rue, , p.
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12).” The Earmarks of Ethical Leadership Because values play such an important role in our lives, being able to recognize, understand and articulate one’s own values set becomes critical in sound decisionmaking.
Nov 27, · -Leadership is an inside-out process Leadership is more about being than about doing -Leaders model the “Two C’s:” Character and Competence Great leaders don’t just focus on their.