During my career as an employee of a large corporation, we discussed attaining influence without authority. Traditionally, influence and authority came with title, power and “ruling with an iron fist.” Today, influence is recognized as an important quality of any leader. It doesn’t mean force.
How does leadership and influence factor into a small business? Building influence can be a key to attracting customers, employees and business partners. Attracting the right people to your business can result in more profit.
How do you become an influential leader? It happens over time. It starts with you. Acknowledge your passion and your vision. Then take action toward it. It’s not about doing certain things as much as it is about doing things in a certain way. Here are key examples.
- Do what you love, love what you do-be passionate. People will notice you.
- Operate from a place of integrity at all times. People will trust you.
- Develop your brand, your message, your voice. Consistency builds clarity.
- Be a go-giver. Always ask, How can I support you? Listen to people’s needs.
- Take action.
Once you are comfortable with who you are and with your vision, it’s important to share with others at every level. Some of the physical actions to build influence are listed below.
- Build Presence. Choose what aligns with you.
- Writing, blogs, books, magazines, reports, social media
- Networking, chambers, rotaries, industry groups
- Speaking, industry conferences, radio, video, webinars, telecalls
- Your website
- Teach – share your knowledge with others, train-the-trainers
- Mentor, coach, consult
Any time you are interacting with your community, networking within your industry, you are building influence. The result will be attracting people to you, including customers, clients, employees and business partners. This will result in more profit.