Did you ever lay awake in your bed, wondering what to do with your life? Wondering how you can make an impact in the society of today? Wondering how you can make people follow you? Well, if you are thinking about this, you belong to a group of people often called "Influential Leaders".
Just think about famous people such as Martin Luther King (I have a dream), Che Guevara (Che) or yes, even Donald Trump (Make America Great Again), they all figured out on how to influence people and make them follow them.
In this series of blog posts, I will be explaining different elements, that I think are needed for a person to create a culture of growth; a culture where people whom you work with are able to shine.
Chapter #1: Influential Leadership
In the first step of creating a growth culture, it is crucial that you understand what makes good leaders. You want to be a leader that inspires people, someone who is able to say something that makes people admire you. You however, do NOT want to be the kind of leader that people fear, the kind of leader that destroys a culture.
So before we go in detail, lets summarize what makes up a good leader (as an acronym: FICEL):
- Focus: Focus on the correct group of people
- Inclusion: Making People Belong
- Commitment: Take initiative to change someone's life
- Exploration: Do not stick only to what worked before
- Listener: Always listen to everyone
You have two different kind of leaders - the ones that influence a specific focus group (chemists, firefighters, technical, …) or the ones that focus a bigger part of the population (world, us, europe, asia, …). But in either case, it is important to know what your focus group is. Who are the people that should follow you?
Once you know your focus group, you can tune your messages to them, or even brush up certain skills to better understand them. This will make it easier for you to get people to follow you, since people tend to "tribe" together - just think on why people with a certain skill always sit together in the office.
I can not express how important this one is. People tend to follow a group when they feel that they belong. Just think about the different religions: christianity, islam, buddhism, etc, or even the kind of sports teams people follow. When they think they belong, they are more likely to stick to it, and we all know how hard it is to change someone's mind.
But how do you really change someone's life? It is not by standing at the sidelines and watching something happen. No, it's by participating in it. When you see something happening that goes against your beliefs, take action! When you see something that could be improved, take action! That is if you believe in it yourself!
People tend to take things for granted, true leaders go against this and try to change the status quo.
Are you one of the persons that likes to stick with what works? Well, then you fall back out of the category of Influential Leaders. A leader is someone who constantly challenges himself/herself. You need to stay ahead of the competition, and what other way to do this then to keep on changing?
Last but not least, listen to people! How else do you think to influence people if you do not know what they are thinking about? People like to express themselves through gossip, criticism, etc, so instead of challenging these expressions, it's important to listen to them.
By listening, you will be able to tackle core problems, that you would never have discovered otherwise.