‘The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority’

Ken Blanchard

How many of us have experienced ‘great’ leadership?

How many of us can point to a time in our career, or life for that matter, when we’ve been privileged to work ‘with’, as opposed to’ for’, a leader who we felt was outstanding?

….Someone who enabled you to perform at your best, to enjoy your work and feel valued and to feel part of and contribute to something greater than yourself?

If you have, congratulations!  You are amongst the few who have a blueprint of what great leadership looks and feels like, as well as an actual role model to follow.

If not, welcome to the majority who clearly recognise which leadership styles don’t work, but are still trying to understand what does need to happen in order to positively influence and engage staff to achieve the desired outcomes they and their organisation requires.

This has never been more relevant than in today’s challenging economic climate, when organisational uncertainty can significantly distract and undermine staff focus and commitment.

So why is influence more important than authority?

Because successful leadership is fundamentally about creating a relationship with your ‘followers’.  People work for ‘people’, not ‘organisations’, so for any leader to be successful, they must first know how to win the trust, commitment and loyalty of their staff as an absolute pre-requisite to being able to successfully implement any strategy.

Another key success factor for any leader operating in our highly competitive business world, one that is significantly undervalued and therefore overlooked, is for leaders to be able to ‘self-manage’, particularly with ever increasing expectations on performance levels.

This requires leaders to have excellent self-awareness skills (emotional literacy), as well as to know how to source and maintain their own physical and emotional wellbeing to sustain high performance.

If leaders are unable to manage their own personal and professional ‘needs’, they will be distracted from performing at their best and will not be providing the types of leadership behaviours, support and direction required by their ‘followers’ for the organisation to be successful.

What value can a Thinking Partner add to you as a leader?

For all those who want to leverage and maximise the opportunities of leadership, not just for their own benefit, but to develop staff and add value to their organisation as a whole…  For those for whom leadership is an opportunity to produce high performing outcomes as a result of relating to, connecting with and inspiring commitment from their ‘followers’…., working with a Thinking Partner can help them move to the next level of leadership performance, for themselves, their staff, peers, clients and organisation, through increasing their levels of self-awareness and ability to influence more widely and with greater impact.

So how does it work …?

Working with a Thinking Partner can help uncover, hone and further develop your range of natural ‘intelligences’ (IQ, EQ, PQ & SQ) including other abilities that you may not be fully leveraging at present, enabling you to more successfully influence those you work with and through, to create the improved organisational outcomes you desire, giving you and your staff the edge to willingly go the extra mile, even under difficult circumstances … 

A Thinking Partner can also help you achieve greater personal satisfaction from your leadership role by enabling you to connect what’s important to you personally – the ‘who you are’: your own values and needs, to ‘what you do’ as a leader.  This alone will considerably increase your available energy levels, improve your resilience to pressure, as well as contribute to an overall improved sense of satisfaction and achievement from your role and a more balanced approach to life and work.

In times of increased pressure and change, a Thinking Partner can also help you source and sustain your own motivation and energy levels, regardless of external circumstances, so that you can experience a more balanced approach to uncertain circumstances, maintaining a sense of direction and control whilst seeking out the potential opportunities that may lie within unexpected challenges.

A Thinking Partner will also encourage you to consider not only the leadership  impact you want to have now, but also the longer-term ‘leadership legacy’ you can create and pass on to the next generation of leaders, so that having experienced what ‘excellent’ leadership looks and feels like as a ‘follower’, they now have a blueprint to replicate when they too step into a leadership role.

Arguably, great leadership is not just about how good you are as a leader, it’s also about how many other great leaders you can develop through your stewardship!

Few organisations have positive leadership role models, let alone leaders who are aware of the opportunity they have to influence the success of organisational cultures beyond their own leadership tenure.  If it’s also important for you to extend your current leadership impact into the future, creating a leadership legacy that outlives your role, then a Thinking Partner would like to help you achieve that goal.


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