Previously, I have defined leadership as using power to influence others to achieve a specific outcome. That suggests that the act of leading requires an attempt to influence. Think about that for a few seconds.
If you are doing something that has no influence, can you call that a leadership activity?
I’m not suggesting that the task is worthless just because it doesn’t include an influencing component, and I’m not suggesting that everything a leader does should involve influence.
I am suggesting that in order to actually be leading, you need to be trying to influence.
Interestingly, we can perform an identical activity in two different ways, one as a leader, and one not. One example:
In schools, assistant principals (AP) often handle a lot of discipline. As an AP, I can approach discipline in different ways. Approaching discipline as a leader involves figuring out why a problem occurred and working to help those involved understand the event and change behaviors in order to prevent reoccurrences. The other approach is to look at the offence, find the corresponding consequence, apply it, and move on.
Of course, there are shades of gray, but the point is that a leader focuses on influencing people to create a better future for the individuals and the organization.
Take a few minutes to think about some of the more mundane things that you will do this week. Who can you influence, and to what end? Can you lead through these activities so that someone is better off as a result?
Do good and be well,