Who’s the Boss? Not You – Be an Influential Leader

No pressure, but what separates best practice organizations from the rest of the pack comes down to you – the leaders driving high performance and high expectations.

Notice how I say “leader” – NOT “boss.”

I equate being a “boss” with positional leaders. We’ve all probably worked for the “positional leader” at some point in our lives. You can spot one from a mile away. They’ve been elevated to their position by someone else. They gladly wear the title, but they don’t acquire your respect. It’s a “do as I say,” not a “do as I do” situation.

Influential leaders boast traits in contrast to those possessed by positional leaders.

Think of it this way: You expect your employees to be punctual. You communicate to them that they must show up to work on time. Yet, you waltz in a few minutes late here and there and everywhere. You are wearing the title of boss and acting like a “positional leader” but you are definitely not an influential leader – other than influencing your employees by sending missed messages that have the opposite effect of motivating the team toward its best. Instead, you are cultivating disrespect and, worse yet, ambivalence.

Same goes for innovation. A lot of bosses talk about fostering a creative and advanced culture. Yet, do they act on all this talk? If you want to foster a culture of innovation among your team, you need to be constantly tweaking existing processes, finding new solutions, and brainstorming to develop new approaches and ways of taking on existing situations and systems. And rewarding others to do.

Influential leaders’ values are aligned with their behaviors.

When what you do is in harmony with what you say, your employees will follow suit. They will emulate your behavior.

You’re an innovator, and they see you are acting on the creative culture you say you want to foster.

You have a high standard.

THAT is inspiring.

Your being the individual you say you are cultivates respect and has the additional benefit of creating other game-changers throughout the organization – engaged employees that will perform day in and day out and not simply fill seats and punch time clocks.

And THAT is priceless!


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