Leadership Within – Persuasive Leadership

We are slowly entering the first stages of a twenty-year workforce drought that will wreak havoc on businesses, economies and communities around the globe. There will be a shortage of available employment talent and corporate capacity as a direct result of an aging workforce, shrinking populations and global marketplaces. In addition to this, global forces on your business are becoming very real. Influences to your success include oil prices, inflation, trade talks and National and local politics. It is no longer enough to open a business and hang out your sign. Now, in this ever changing world, your ability to strategize, overcome and lead your team is critical to your ongoing operational success.

In the coming years the thriving organizations will be the ones that possess the skills, tools, processes and culture necessary to retain the talent they have. They will attract the best and brightest new minds by reputation and innovation. They will be the organizations that find innovative ways to link possibilities to performance.

The management teams in these organizations will understand the value of making a commitment to every staff person. The leaders of these organizations will embrace the soft skills that ignite the passion and drive of their teams. They will build strong interpersonal relationships and lead the workforce by example, inspiring others to follow in their path.

Potential employees will seek the organizations that are creative and innovative, to be lifted to a higher place of learning, living and working.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing one of my premier leadership courses, that I taught for over a decade to organizations around the globe. If you read the material I share, do the work I suggest, and follow through on the next steps, you will possess the knowledge, tools and ideas necessary to become the leader who inspires. Please understand that learning is the starting point on a journey that you as a leader can use to create or refine a culture of excellence and performance for yourself and your organization.

I look forward to leading you through the next few weeks, as we explore your Leadership Within.

Section One: What is Leadership?

Leadership, at whatever level it takes place in an organization, is always about creating and maintaining a positive, trusting partnership with colleagues and stakeholders in order to develop and maintain a high degree of personal influence.

The key outcome for any leadership training program should be to deliver the knowledge sills and tools to create the opportunity for you to develop “Personal Influence”

Influence is the ability to have others voluntarily follow your ideas, direction or action because they believe you are credible and worthy of their followership. Without personal influence, you are just another voice at the table.

What does this look like?

Effective, persuasive, and inspiring leaders possess the ability to create great change in the people they lead, their organization and themselves. Being persuasive is essential to infuse adaptability, innovation and confidence in the management of the work unit in such a way that fits both the needs of the organization and the staff who work there.

Modern management has evolved from a traditional dictatorial style to more of a lead by example platform. Leaders now understand that taking time to communicate, persuade, and encourage their staff. Yet when this process is undertaken, it yields greater overall confidence and trust by the staff in their unit. This results in the overall achievement of higher organizational productivity.

Start with Persuasion
Persuasive leaders use some of their personal dynamics (passion, drive, and creativity) to transform their staff and their workplaces into high efficiency powerhouses. They link into the emotional side of our personalities and lead us by example.

Effectively wielded persuasive leadership allows you to advance your cause, share your lessons learned, build healthier relationships, effect positive change and create amazing results.

To exercise persuasive leadership, utilize these behaviors:

Be a Giver – Give your team the resources and support they need to excel, create an environment of goodwill. The most valuable commodity you can provide is to give your support, time and guidance to your team.

Be Consistent – Respond with balance, so your staff knows what to expect from you. This doesn’t mean never have a bad day, it means be consistent in how you approach things each day. Be thoughtful, be measured, be calm when it all goes wrong. Consistent behaviours and approaches create the predictable environment that your staff will come to trust.

Create Scarcity – This is as much about your approach as it is about what you provide. A leader who has nurtured persuasive in the correct manner, finds they and their team all understand the value of the skills that each member of the team brings to the organization. An effective leader treasures the skills staff possess and acknowledges the scarcity of their value by rewarding them with public praise, time off, or an acknowledgement that goes beyond the annual performance review.

Emotionally Connect. Depending on your Myers Briggs type profile, this can be a challenge. Effectively persuasive leaders know what is important in the lives of their team, asks about and engages about those items, and shows general interest. There is a line however, beyond which you should not go; the emotional, versus supportive line. Persuasive leaders always maintain professionality and separate the emotional issues of their team from the support they provide.

Listen as if Wrong – quite often, we think, as leaders we know most all there is to know about our organizations. It is critically important to create the environment where your team can express concerns of frustrations about an issue, without it being viewed as detrimental. Often, a great leader listens as if wrong, understanding that something the other person offers, may be unknown and subsequently valuable. The leader must also, however, create an environment where petty complaints and gossip do not become common place. The goal is to create a workplace which shares opportunities for improvement, without sacrificing others on the alter of condemnation.

Establish Trust – In a few weeks I’ll talk about trust as a keystone concept in organizational productivity and profitability. For now, Trust means that your team feel safe in your organization. They feel like you’ve “got their back” when things go sideways. The statement I most often hear, when people trust their leader is “S/He is firm, but fair”

Establish Credibility – I have a saying “Get up, Show Up, Smile.” What it means is that people can count on you to be there when they need you. It means that balance exists between the chaos of business and the forward thinking that allows your team to see the vision of your tomorrow. Credibility is based on an old-world principle: the realization of your word. If you say it, do it. Be that person who follows through.

That’s enough theory for now.

Here are some reflection questions for you to consider before next weeks article:

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