Adopted from: Alan Danielson 

Leadership is not about position.  It is not about power.  Leadership is about influence.  Poor leaders don’t understand this, so they spend their time flexing muscles, raising their voices, and imposing their will.  Good leaders do understand this truth, so they focus their attention on improving their ability to influence.

Below are 10 practices you should consider to help improve your ability to influence the people you lead:

1. Treat people like human beings rather than human resources.

Too often, leaders threaten their followers, use them, or neglect them.  Remember, the people you lead are just that:  PEOPLE.  Leaders who write people off and treat them poorly always reap the negative benefits of those actions later.

2. Err on the side of generosity.

Be generous with your time.  Be generous with your resources.  Be generous with forgiveness, praise, and encouragement.  Yes, this will cost you, but the results are worth it.

3. Always let people know where they stand.

It is leadership cruelty to let under-performing team members think they’re doing well and to let excellent team members wonder if they’re succeeding.  Give your followers clear direction and keep them abreast of how you view their progress.

4. Believe in your team.

People beat themselves up a lot; they don’t need you to add any bruises to their collection.  Help their confidence by believing in the people on your team.  Look for the untapped potential in all of your team members.  Tell them you are proud of them.  Tell them you believe in them.  When you reprimand someone, make sure you genuinely believe they can improve.  If you don’t believe in your team, you have the wrong people on your team, you have people in the wrong positions, or you are too darn cynical.  Figure out which it is and address the issue immediately!

5. Praise people publicly and correct them privately.

Never, never, never, never reprimand people publicly.  You’ll lose equity with the person being corrected and the people hearing the reprimand.  Always, always, always encourage people publicly.  This gives a boost to the person being praised and gives hope to those hearing the encouraging words.

6. Refuse to respond in anger.

When a team member fails, don’t explode.  If you’re mad, go somewhere to cool off before you address the issue.  When you explode, you make the people you lead afraid of telling you when something is wrong.  Losing your temper is the fastest way to create a culture where your followers lie to your face and cover up their mistakes.  Can you say, “unhealthy?”

7. Apologize.

When you make a mistake, admit it. Tell your followers that you regret your actions.  DON’T MAKE EXCUSES or say, “I’m sorry, but…”  Just say, “I’m sorry.”  The people you lead don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do want you to be humble.

8. Send hand-written notes.

In an era of e-mails, texts, tweets and Facebook wall posts, it’s truly astounding to be given a hand-written note. Send hand-written apologies, thank yous, and notes of encouragement.  Your team will be moved by the fact that you’ve taken a little extra time for them.

9. Strive for excellence.

My former pastor, Craig Groeschel, often says, “Excellence honors God and inspires people.”  I couldn’t agree more.  As you strive for and expect excellence, your team will respond.  People want to do remarkable things.  They want what they do to matter.  Aiming for quality results contributes to a culture of excitement, hope, confidence, and expectation.

10. Do what you say.

Nothing will undermine your leadership influence faster than inconsistency.  Never forget; people judge themselves by their intentions, but they judge you by your actions.  When you don’t do what you say, people begin to think you lack integrity.  They may overlook it at first, but eventually, they’ll think you are full of hot air (at best) or an outright liar (at worst).  Do your absolute best to always follow through on all of your commitments no matter what!

via 10 Ways to Upgrade Your Leadership Influence

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