One of the traits of being a leader is that you live to influence others, a Maxwell trademark. Normally people think they can influence only when they are held in possitions of power. But I found it wrong. I found that is possible to change the circumstances around you without having to be the “boss”. Check where you are in the Path of Influence.
First step is to gain Trust. Influence without trust is impossible. People wouldnt’ believe in what you said. Nor follow what you order. When trust can’t be gain, your only option is fear. To gain trust, you need to show that you have others interest as important as yours. You are in for the other. Not only saying things like “your win is my win”, but actually by acting upon that. Walk the walk. Do the job. You influence by example.
The second step is to have a Voice. Now that you are trustworthy by backing up your words with actions, you find opportunities where people ask for your voice. An advice. A suggestion. An idea. Put your comments last, make sure you share your ideas when are asked. If you do it right, your voice will become a source of wisdom. Be responsible with it. You influence by knowing.
The third step is to have Choice. You have shown that you can do it, that you think about how to make it better and can articulate all of this in a clear way. The natural step is to be put in charge of making choices. This means you need to start to think of the consecuenses, a byproduct of choice. Share the rewards. Own the failures. You influence by being responsible.
The fourth step is to set Direction. This is the big brother of Choice. A larger responsability: larger rewards, larger consequences. Only people who can see enough in the future can help set direction for any endeavor. Without the experience of the previous steps, you will have a difficult time considering the future with a cold head. You influence by passion, vission and strategy.
Check in which stage you are in your context. Start influencing tomorrow. Become the better version of yourself.