All entries for Thursday 04 December 2008
December 04, 2008
As we all agreed, leadership is a process of influence that moves members of a group in a common direction. Influence is the essential ingredient in leadership and without it, leadership would not exist. Influence is any action that has an affect on another action. Influence is the driving force behind leadership.
Bear in mind:
- Influence is not the same thing as control.
- Influence shapes the direction that a group of people will pursue.
- Influence is the quintessential element of leadership.
Influence is the power to affect the way someone or something develops, behaves, or thinks without using direct force or orders. A true leader who can influence a group of people without mechanistic orders. A leader has the ability to gain authoritative trust in people. Without the people following freely, you are not leading.
The way in which influence moves about a group will directly determine the culture of the group and how they pursue direction. If influence based off mechanistic order in a group you will probably have a hierarchical structure with a clear and concise end goal in sight. If influence is based off of organic order you will probably have a decentralized group that has a common end in sight.
The way influence is perceived by a leader directly relates to how they will treat their followers and the way influence is delivered will directly relate to how followers perceive leaders. Influence is a precious gift to be stewarded and not abused. To often leader needy situations turn into dictator led situations and this is bad for everyone. Leadership requires individuals to step above the mechanistic compliance of people and influence them to pursue common direction.