When looking at the role leaders play in our organizations, the key component of their role is influence. Leaders influence their individual team members, their departments, their leaders, and the organization.

What is Influence?

According to the dictionary, influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself in indirect or intangible ways.

Leadership roles have HIGH influence. In a single day, your leader can influence the morale of their team, the focus of their time, the productivity of their efforts, their success with the company and even their happiness at home. They can affect the reputation of your brand and the quality of service your known for through decisions they make.  That‘s a lot of power (and trust) to give to a person. Have you done your diligence to ensure this person is prepared for a leadership role?

Can you teach people to influence well?

Being an advocate of lifelong learning, my answer will ALWAYS be yes! Influencing is a key component to leadership and leadership MUST be taught!

“But Rita, I’m a born leader!”

Yes, I do agree there are a few people who have traits that fit leadership naturally. But the art of a good leader takes practice and confidence in skills like decision making, strategic thinking, delegating, communication and more! These are all topics that can be taught to make even those with natural leadership talent even stronger!

Where do you even start?

First, realize that you considering taking your team’s leadership skills into consideration is a MAJOR influence move! By providing the opportunity to allow your team to grow not only influences their success in their roles, but the success of your business! Give yourself a good pat on the back for taking this first step!

Next, provide them with a good example of influence. What they see from you and other key stakeholders in their business defines “what good looks like”. Create an environment that is safe for them to ask questions and welcomes learning from each other.

Finally, give them the tools they need to succeed and practice what they learn.
Here are a few good options:

Peer Groups (there are a ton in the channel):

  • Taylor Business Group Peer Groups
  • Connectwise Evolve Peer Groups

Development Opportunities:

  • Build IT Communities – Corporate Training
    • Customized, on-going leadership training for your entire team
  • Build IT Communities – Communities of Practice
    • Leadership curriculum created specifically for MSPs
  • Build IT University
    • On-Demand Virtual Training Courses your team can access anytime

Books for Team Discussions:

  • Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the box The Arbinger Institute
  • The Ideal Team Player: How to recognize and cultivate the three essential virtues Patrick M. Lencioni
  • Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ Daniel Goleman
  • Mindset: The new psychology of success Carol S. Dweck
  • Grit: The power of passion and perseverance Angela Duckworth

As leaders grow and develop their leadership skills, their sphere of influence grows. The stronger your leaders become, the more reliable they are to you, their team, and the business. The stronger your leaders become, the more influence they have on people outside of the organization. You’ll be developing leaders in the industry who will grow your brand reputation and authority.

So really, this all comes down to you. What influence will you choose to have on your leaders?

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