Use Influence, Not Authority

I wrote a book called The Power of Influence and when people ask what I do, I tell them that I help make leaders influential. Why is influence so important?

Because most leaders simply rely on authority. In other words they rely on their position, title or authority to get their people to follow.

There are three reasons why authority doesn’t work in leadership:

#1 It’s Lazy – being an influential leader takes actual effort and most people shy away from work.

#2 It’s Situational – if your people follow because they have to (you are the boss, manager, etc…) then you only hold sway in that situation. Take yourself out of that position and you can’t get them to follow you at all.

#3 At best, authority creates compliance. When people follow because they have to, they are not engaged and committed. At best, they are compliant (although many times they are defiant). I love Dondi Scumaci’s quote – “Compliance will never take you where commitment can go”

If you want to have committed people and be the type of leader who makes a real impact – then you need to learn to be influential. Your people should trust you, like you and see the value that you bring.

People should follow you because they want to and not because they have to.


3 Responses

  1. That explains a lot of why this country is in the shape it is. Leaders rely on scare tactics instead of leading by example. With hard work we can all be successful. Thanks for the reminder


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