Leadership is a critical ingredient that I discovered while assisting clients and myself in achieving quantum progress in various small and medium-sized businesses. According to presidents from multiple countries, strong leadership is one key ingredient that has made a nation excel. Leaders such as Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela have successfully changed their people’s beliefs from pessimists to optimists who are congruent enough to do something positive. When I started coaching, I took a personality test that revealed I had “compliance” and “supportive” personalities. That is, I am a task-oriented, reserved individual who dislikes confrontation. I realized that my character had changed after five years in the coaching business and taking another test. I am more “dominant” and aggressive than before and more willing to confront issues and people than before, though I am still “detailed” oriented as before.
In my clients, I saw the difference in successfully leading and growing a company came to one attribute of “Strong Leadership.” What does it mean to be a strong leader? I believe it refers to the ability to influence others. Because the companies I coached were frequently made up of many people working as a team. With the owner, and sometimes as a managing director, he or she had to convince their staff to do what they wanted, which was not always easy. The question is, how does one develop strong leadership to lead a company better?
The answer is found within the owner/managing director/leader. My primary role in coaching is to assist the owner in resolving business issues and achieving his or her objectives. This required several private coaching sessions with the owner. When I’m with the client, I have to play four roles: trainer, consultant, mentor, and therapist. Coaching took place in those four areas, with the goals of bringing new awareness to the client, assisting clients in taking ownership of their actions, and finally holding them accountable for the results. In doing so, coaching will assist the client in discovering himself or herself and what her or his being is. Once that occurs, that being must be broadcasted like a radio signal to their team, suppliers, and clients. Steve Jobs is an example of this, not that I have ever coached him… it’s just an example, Apple Computers products such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, among others, have created evangelists among their customers, team, and suppliers.
Even though there are many products from various brands, such as androids and MP3 players, Apple products have created a new set of rules for cults of people to enjoy their products and become die-hard fans (evangelists). Steve Jobs’ vision and personality were transformed into a radio frequency that drew others with similar beliefs, vision, and vibration to follow him; in other words, Steve Jobs influenced them (strong leadership).
So here’s how I typically assist my clients in developing their power of influence so that they can be strong leaders:
First, I teach them that they must be aware of two types of circles to build their leadership: the smaller circle is known as the circle of influence, and the larger circle is known as the circle of control.
Your circle of influence is the circle that you can control and lead. As a result, if you want to show a target outside your circle of power, you won’t be able to do so unless you can expand your circle of influence to include your target market’s circle of control. Determine who you want to influence and lead.
To expand your circle of influence, you must be aware of two situations: your situation and the situation of your target market. Is your personality compatible with your target market? If not, you must increase yours by reading more, learning more, doing more, being more congruent, and getting coached so that you have someone to hold you accountable and someone on the outside evaluating your efforts and results objectively. This is how you grow as a person. You want to be truthful with yourself and others. Find your vision that is a worthy cause to pursue for the rest of your life. Plan how to achieve that vision and establish your own and the company’s commitments to ensure that when chaos occurs, your commitments will hold your company and yourself together to achieve that vision.
To develop your ability to influence others after you have created yourself, you must first understand who else your target market trusts because the people they trust are most likely the ones who control them and have the ability to lead them. Because trust is transferable, you must spend time with them and become their personal friends and problem solvers partners. Have a genuine interest in them. It’s the law of reciprocity; they will pay attention to you and do something for you if you first do something for them.
As this occurs, consider how you can be close and trusted with others who have already earned the trust of your target market. If you are a new director in a company, identify the existing people with a circle of influence in the business team. Get to know them personally by playing dumb and digging deep, asking questions, and listening carefully. Essentially, you want to pace yourself so that you are on the same frequency as them, similar to how slowly you want to lead them to your destination (influence them).
When you do all of that, when you meet with your staff/target market and try to influence them in a meeting, you have already built enough rapport to persuade your target to follow your lead. Because they have a lot to do with vibes, people who are not in the same vibe as you as a business leader will usually leave, and you will begin to attract people with the same vibe. That’s precisely what you want.
There you have it, the big picture on developing strong leadership by honing your influence skills. When you call me and have a private conversation, I can begin coaching and assisting you in breaking this down into specific action plans and details. In short, you must be consistent with your beliefs and start leading others from there.
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