Leadership is influence, influence is leadership. There can be no leadership without influence, because influencing is how leaders lead. There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important — no question about it. Don’t get me wrong — leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing. But they are necessarily linked, and complementary. Any effort to separate the two is likely to cause more problems than it solves.
Managers also use influence, because only a fraction of managerial work can actually be accomplished through control and the use of authority. The aim of both managers and leaders is to accomplish an organization’s goals. Managers do it through plans, organization, processes, task assignments, measurements, and so on, but they must also direct people and manage their performance, and you can’t manage people solely through command-and-control methods. People are human beings, not machines, mechanical parts, or assembly lines. They respond best when they are treated like human beings, they work best when they have a voice in how the work is done, and they remain loyal and engaged when they feel respected, trusted, well-informed, and cared for. That’s why the best managers also lead, and they lead through the social and emotional approaches to influencing, not just the rational approaches.
Leaders lead by mobilizing people around a compelling vision of the future, by inspiring them to follow in the leader’s footsteps. They show people what’s possible and motivate them to make those possibilities real. They energize and focus people in ways that fulfill their dreams, give them a sense of purpose, and leave them with a profound sense of accomplishment when the work is done. Leaders lead by modeling ways of thinking or acting and by encouraging new ways of looking at situations, and by so doing they give people the words and the courage to make those new ways their own. The best leaders are teachers, mentors, and role models–and they accomplish the majority of their work through influence, not authority.
- Focuses on systems and structure;
- Relies on control;
- Has a short-range view;
- Asks how and when;
- Eye always on the bottom line;
- Accepts the status quo;
- Classic good soldier; and
- Does things right;
- Focuses on people;
- Inspires trust;
- Long-range perspective;
- Asks what and why;
- Eye is on the horizon;
- Challenges it;
- His or her own person; and
- Does the right thing.
- We truly value people — we don’t take advantage of them, we don’t manipulate them, and abuse them.
- We know and relate to what the value — we have to them space; we have to give them what they love to do and excel.
- We make ourselves more valuable — we have to grow with the team, never stop growing and learning. We have help them grow.
When leaders love their position more than their people — when that happens they soon lose their position.
Common mistakes of leadership and influence:
- If I’m not on top, I can’t lead — leadership is influence, not position;
- When I get to the top, then I will learn to lead;
- if I were on the top, everyone would follow; and
- When I get to the top, I will be able to do anything;