Reading time – 66 seconds – slightly longer for the first post of the year; Viewing time – 2:29 . . .
Vince Lombardi famously started each of his training camps for the Green Bay Packers with a speech to the team. These veterans and rookies alike, all great athletes, had a wealth of experience, yet Lombardi always began by saying, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” That is to say, it’s all about the basics. It’s always about the basics. So, . . .
Sir or madam, there are a lot of parts to being a great leader. There’s having and sharing clarity of vision, making the best strategic decisions and hiring the right people. (Hint: Peter Drucker was right – “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” – hire for culture fit). There is more, of course, and unless your goals are VERY modest, you can’t do it all by yourself, so the engine that drives the best results is influencing your people such that they self-select to give their best. You know it as engagement.
Later this month I’ll be delivering workshops to two distinct groups. One is composed of the leadership teams of four companies. The other is a gathering of community leaders whose purpose is the betterment of their community and its people. The goals of the two groups are vastly different, yet each requested the same workshop. My challenge in presenting to them is to find the sweet spot, the center of the bulls eye so that each attendee to each meeting comes away with action items that will advance their purposes. The common focus is on influence.
Neither you nor I can make anyone do anything. All people make their own decisions about what they will do and how much of themselves they will give to their endeavors. The job of the leader is to provide influence – perhaps you prefer the term motivation or inspiration – such that followers will find themselves wanting to give more of whatever they have to give.
Ordering people to act will produce nothing more than compliance; it never results in best effort. That means that your job is one of pull, not push. That can feel slow and not provide the direct sense of control you might prefer and that’s because there is no control. That is the essence of influence.
Nevertheless, your job is solely one of influence. Knowing how to do that job is the key to the greatest success. So, that’s where we focus.
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