I believe that every leader chooses the level of influence they have based on the approach to leadership that they take.
If you choose to lead based on title and position – your influence will be situational and small. Some would argue that your influence would be non-existent.
On the other hand, if you choose to lead based on relationships and by adding value – your influence will be lasting and unlimited.
Leaders today who choose to lead based on relationships and by adding value need to embody The Three A’s:
- Accessibility: As a leader are you accessible to your people? Do you take the time to be with them and available? The Marines call this eye ball leadership, being face to face, belly to belly with your people. If you want to build genuine relationships, you need to spend time with them, get to know them and grow to love them. That requires more time and effort on your part – but that is the cost of leadership.
- Approachability: Do your people feel like they can come to you with concerns or mistakes? Are you approachable? A lot of this has to do with the way that you carry yourself and the way that you communicate. Do you have a conversational tone or a condescending tone? When someone shares a mistake are you curious or critical? Do you come across as guarded and judgmental or are you approachable?
- Authenticity: Your people don’t want perfect leaders – they want authentic leaders. They want you to be honest. They want you to not take yourself too seriously. They want you to share more experience and less opinion. They want to relate to you and connect with you. I believe our world is screaming for authenticity – especially in leadership.
Your leading style is your choice and in the end will produce results based on your ability to connect with your people. Is what you are currently doing creating the results to lead you to the success you are ultimately looking for? Or is it time to try a different approach?