Are you an Influential Leader?

Do you have what it takes to lead with influence? Take this mini-assessment to find out.

While the prevailing literature in current leadership studies tell us that leading with influence is more powerful than leading through position, a lot of leaders still fail in this aspect. Organizations are still stuck in traditional modes of leadership where titles and positions are used as a basis of authority. While it’s true that position automatically requires respect, some people have the “it” factor that makes others willingly follow them. Do you have the traits of an influential leader?

You are visible

An influential leader may be an introvert who likes his space. But he may also ironically find himself put in the spotlight many times because of his abilities and personality. You make yourself available to others’ needs and are willing to take the lead when the situation calls for it.

You attract people

You may not be the most physically attractive or the most extroverted. But when a problem needs to be solved, when something needs to be done, and when others need encouragement, you’re the “run-to” guy. People have commented that there’s something about you that gets them to open up or seek your expertise or experience.

When you speak, people listen and take action

Your team respects your take on weighty issues. You communicate clearly and powerfully that others can’t help but listen.  During meetings, you may not be the most talkative, but when you do finally speak up, others agree with you or at least reconsider their positions. Your team members willingly lend their support to your plan.

You find it easy to enlist others’ help

One sure sign of influential leadership is your ability to persuade and engage others.  You have the knack for spotting others’ strengths and getting them interested in your ventures.  You know exactly how they’ll be able to contribute, and you impart your passion and excitement to them.

People want to be like you, and some of them have even become better than you

Some say that the test of a successful leader is in his ability to replicate himself.  You may not always be in the forefront, because you’re developing others to lead. In fact, influential leaders may also be “invisible leaders.”  You work quietly without much fanfare, but the rest of your team is moving, taking action, and leading.  This is not because you’re lazy. Rather, it is because you inspire others to lead. You’ve modeled leadership for them, and the result is that they want to lead like you do.  You even find yourself amazed and happy that many of your “juniors” have reached heights you yourself have never reached. And even if they have, they still verbalize that you were the mentor who inspired their success.

If you’re gifted with the ability to persuade and engage others, then you have a powerful tool in your hands. Cultivate influence, and you can positively impact others’ lives.