What influence do you have in the world?
Many of the influencers of this time are the result of social media. They create a following, they aren’t doing anything extraordinary, they just put-up post and cleverly market themselves in what they do. But what is the influence they have? Is it the kind of influence that really makes a difference in peoples’ lives? Does it have a positive impact? Or is it just feeding their ego?
Many of the great influencers in my life are not the ones that have a big public persona. They are ones that quietly go about their lives putting their values in action. They walk their talk. They live as their message day in day out. They have influenced my life and those around them by authentic influence.
One of those was Ted, a man who was passionate about earth stewardship. He lived his message and shared it with me as a young child and through my teenage years. He was a volunteer minister in my church and this was the message he lived and breathed. Looking back, I realised his influence on me was profound and it was carried through to my children and now to my grandchildren. They live his message of caring for the environment and for others.
Influence comes in all shapes and sizes and we can choose how we influence. As leaders it is important that our influence isn’t of the superficial type. When it is fueled by ego it falls down. However, our influence is important to our teams. They need to be able to look to you for your influence. They need to be able to trust you and believe you.
What is the influence you have?
I have seen many leaders of business and community who believe their position, itself, is all that is required. They demand loyalty from their people. They want complete loyalty and complain that people have competing loyalties which prevent them from being fully present. Loyalty cannot be demanded. Loyalty is earned only when the leader is authentic in what they say and do. They live their message. They are loyal to their people, they will fight for them, they will make sure that they are nourished and feel safe in their community. They focus on complimentary loyalties.
If your people are not being loyal, take a look in a mirror. Are you loyal to them? Are you being that authentic influencer that they need? Do you say one thing and do another? Do you promise things and don’t follow through? Are your people “Yes people” or do they feel safe in coming to you and sharing their feedback?
Being an authentic influencer in your role as a leader is vital if you are going to have your ultimate impact on the world. It is quite simple, really, just listen. Listen to your people. Care for them. Give them a safe place where they can feel accepted, have a sense of belonging and an opportunity to contribute. When you do you will have the authentic influence that really matters.
Andrea Putting is a Speaker, Author and Expert Authority in Authentic Influence. She guides leaders to achieve a powerful, strong, loyal team and community, through building a Social Mission, so that they can have authentic influence and unleash their ultimate impact on the world. Connect with her now