Influence: Key to Today’s Leadership Effectiveness

At a leadership meeting last week, the speaker made the observation that “Command-and-Control” is no longer the dominant leadership model, something that everyone in the group acknowledged. “influence” is today’s approach; often defined as getting people to do on their own what you want them to do.  The question that arose is what are the competencies that go into such influence?

In Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader, Dr. Ibarra Hermini shares some research from a study of INSEAD’s executive program alumni. They reported that the most important competencies were:

  • Collaborating across organizational units and functions – 97%
  • Inspiring and motivating others 92%
  • Get buy-in/support for my ideas from others – 90%
  • Providing strategic direction – 86%
  • Making decisions under conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity – 85%
  • Influence without authority – 85%

Note that the top three involved working with and “influencing” others and that in many cases the challenge is to do so from a position of no authority? Clearly, they depend on Emotional Intelligence – understanding oneself and others – and Communication Effectiveness – getting your point across succinctly and powerfully. Add to that Strategic Direction and Effective Decision-making, and the influence can have the desired impact.

What are you doing to help your people develop these competencies? Are you investing enough in your staff’s ability to gain the experiences needed? In this VUCA world the stakes are high. Share your experiences. (For more information about how the Vistage learning platform can make a difference, contact Dr. Cahn directly.)

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