If no one is following you, then you are not a leader. You are on a nice walk.
You can be an effective leader and have more influence when you give your followers and clients what they NEED.
How can you, as the leader of your business, have more influence on your followers, potential clients, and even on the clients you already serve? By meeting them at their greatest point of NEED.
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The personality profiling I do with my many clients consists of all types of assessments, but the one that is the most eye-opening for them is when we talk about using our Strengths.
Why? Because most of the women I work with have a 180 turnaround after working through the activities. Those things they thought were weaknesses were actually the very strengths they bring to the table in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
AND learning how to use them best to meet the needs of their following and have more influence opens their business up to have more impact.
Do you want more impact? More influence? More followers? Get them to believe in you (because you believe in yourself), and you will.
What is Influence?
With all the information coming at us daily, we can get really confused about how to best lead our followers, potential clients, and even our clients. For example, we have a profession now called Influencer. What does that mean, though? What does it mean to have more influence?
A simple definition is. . . the capacity to affect someone. For example, an Instagram influencer wants you to buy something they are promoting. A documentary filmmaker wants to influence how you think about a topic. A friend may even influence you to get a new hairstyle.
Within the realm of your business, you want to have more influence on those in what we call your ” sphere of influence.” Of course, we all influence someone, BUT we specifically want to have more influence on those who follow us and be the best leader we can be to effect/affect them positively.
This is why working on your Strengths is so essential. Where your talents naturally take you is where you need to focus. The personality assessment we use in Calling Clarity is based on the Clifton Strengths-finder leadership version.
What is universal for all the leadership categories: executive, influence, relationship building, and strategic thinking, is that your followers, potential clients, and clients NEED four things from you. They need you to build trust, show compassion, provide stability, and create hope.
Every Strength can absolutely do each of these things. And, today I want to talk about how you can use Influence techniques even if you have no strengths in that area. Why? Because every leader has influence inside them.
The Influence Strengths
Let’s first look at what the Influence leadership qualities are called. . .
While you may not be able to tell exactly what each one means, there are four we’ll look at that I see every excellent leader being able to utilize to have Influence: Activator, Communication, Maximizer, and Self-assurance. We’ll go through how you can build trust, show compassion, provide stability, and create hope (what your followers NEED) within each Strength.
Activators turn thoughts into actions
An Activator is someone who can turn thoughts into actions. They make things happen. This is so important in leadership because the following potential clients, clients look to you to tell them what is the next step.
How can you use Activator to build trust? By making sure what you are doing is in line with your values. You can also demonstrate respect for others by listening to and honoring their desires. This brings you together so you can mutually work to make the difference you and they want to make.
Showing compassion as an Activator leader means you’re always there to help and actively reach out to offer that help freely. This creates bonds with your people so they can get the things done that need to be done.
Being there consistently for your followers and clients also provides stability. You can inspire confidence in others and give them the courage to accomplish their goals.
The last way you can have more influence using the Activator strength is to create hope. As a leader, you do this by giving energy to others, lighting a fire under them, so to speak, and helping them move from fear into action.
I hope you can see how Activator is a strength we can all apply at some level (even if it is not in your top 5 strengths).
Communicators can put thoughts into words
The second Strength we will look at is Communication. Again, this is in the influence category but is also vital to any leader’s characteristics.
Communication is simply the ability to put thoughts into words—an essential skill as a leader of others.
Building trust through Communication is easy because it involves giving genuine praise. They recognize someone for what they have done and the effort they are providing. Who doesn’t like some verbal appreciation?
When using the Communication strength, you can show compassion by helping others put into words what they are feeling. The entire culture you want to create for your followers and clients revolves around the language you choose to frame what you want them to feel—staying optimistic lets them know you care about them.
Providing stability using Communication goes back to giving praise and positive feedback, so everyone feels secure. Inspire confidence with your words so those you lead will see your vision.
To create hope in your people through Communication means you encourage positive activities and outcomes and voice future accomplishments. Your words influence the impressions and expectations of those in your group. Always consider the direction you want your words to take your people.
Maximizers look at others’ strengths and encourage them toward excellence
A maximizer looks at others and sees their strengths, and then focuses on encouraging those individuals toward excellence.
Building trust as a Maximizer means talking about your strengths and weaknesses, so others feel more open to talking about their own. When your followers feel they don’t have to live up to some perfection or standard, they know you are honest. That builds trust.
A Maximizer will show compassion by encouraging others to use the gifts and talents they see in them to go after what they want to achieve. And, because you are also using the Communication quality, you can verbalize those things you see in others they may not see in themselves.
Providing stability for a Maximizer is accomplished by providing opportunities for your people to excel at the work. Give them the tools, systems, and support they need to succeed for themselves.
Maximizers help others build and use their gifts and talents to create hope. As a result, your clients will find they are more productive and that you have inspired them to take ownership of their success.
People with self-assurance feel confident in the ability to make the right decisions
The last influence we will talk about that you can incorporate into your leadership is Self-assurance.
Self-assurance is simply feeling confident in the ability to manage your own life and knowing you can make the right decisions. Because you have come this far in this entrepreneurial adventure, I know you have Self-assurance to be the leader God calls you to be.
The first thing to do to build trust with Self-assurance is to be vulnerable. You need to share your failures and how you have overcome them. Let your followers, potential clients, and clients know how you have had to pivot, re-group, and change plans to make something work. And don’t forget to talk about what you’ve learned.
To show compassion with Self-assurance is to focus on others’ successes. Then, you can create a culture that lets them know you see them and have confidence in them. This is where you can also tell them how important they are to you and that you value them.
Sharing stories of your own experiences in the similar situations they are going through helps provide stability as you use Self-assurance. In addition, it gives your followers the sense that “we’re all in this together” and reminds them they are not alone.
The future is full of opportunities. Self-assurance creates hope by setting ambitious goals that challenge your followers and can be achieved with creativity plus hard work. This inspires your people to keep aiming higher for what they can perform themselves.
Remember, as a leader; you have self-assurance in you. God gives wisdom and discernment so we can be the leaders He calls us to be.
Have more influence by believing in yourself
Now, if you take the Strengths-finder Leadership assessment (which everyone does in Calling Clarity), you may not be assigned any of these Influence Category Strengths. But you can learn to be a better leader by borrowing from the more universal ones.
Having more influence and getting people to follow you means you are a leader. Serving others, engaging with them, and getting them to feel they belong is what all leaders NEED to do for their followers, those potential clients, and true clients.
Jesus is our example here, the perfect Servant Leader. In Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45, Jesus’ words are recorded, For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.
We are called to lead in our businesses. We are called to serve those God has planned for us to serve. Meet the four basic needs of those who follow you: build trust, show compassion, provide stability, and create hope and you will influence them profoundly.
Have more impact and have more influence
Do you want more impact? Do you want to have more influence? More followers? You CAN get them to believe in you (because you believe in yourself). I would love to chat with you about what Calling Clarity can reveal for you. Let’s talk about where God wants to take you as the leader He has created you to be.