What does it take to become an influential leader? How do influential people always end up becoming so authoritative and persuasive? What makes people trust and follow charismatic leaders so blindly?
We instantly know a highly effective leader when we see one. They exude a vibe that often draws us to them—we feel comfortable in their presence and elated by their mentor ship. Influential leaders, no matter who they are, can captivate an audience for hours and have employees singing their praises. They have a great impact on those they lead. They leave their mark on the lives they touch. I bet they can even lead a revolution when required!
Here’s the fact: Real influence rarely comes from position or title, neither are people born with it. It comes gradually from understanding people and their fundamental, most profound needs and wants.
When it comes to idolizing the most influential leaders, we only see their outside. We see them propelling themselves towards better and bigger things, speaking their minds, and constantly innovating. Yet, we often miss the best part. The perseverance, wherewithal and self-assurance that make them who they are, is not everyone’s cup of tea. Behind the curtains, they invest every ounce of their being into being who they are.They lead with their hearts, as much as with their minds, and their relentless pursuit of excellence is driven by these 10 commendable traits:
Common Traits Of Influential Leaders:
They Develop Listening Skills
People have an innate need to be heard. Whether you agree or disagree with a person, it’s still imperative to hear their end of the debate. Instead of paying attention to the ranting of another person, most people are busy coming up with rebuttals and retorts of their own, or letting their minds stray to another world. In order to make people feel heard, influential leaders listen patiently and attentively to what someone has to say. Good listening skills entail one to focus on the speaker and overcome the urge to think ahead to what he has to say.
They Follow Non-verbal Cues
If you closely scrutinize two people intensely immersed in a conversation, you would notice that they model each other’s nonverbal cues inadvertently, such as making eye contact, smiling, mimicking expressions, and moving towards each other. These actions make the other person more open to their influence and ideas. Once the comfort levels reach a high, the person starts getting a positive vibe and feels heard and understood. This is one trait that influential leaders have mastered.
They Recognize Other People’s Accomplishments
No matter how confident somebody is in their skin, everyone appreciates being complemented for something they did well and are proud of. Recognizing the accomplishments of other people earns you a spot in their good books. In addition, being verbal doesn’t suffice; you have to mean it and be sincere in your acknowledgement. A phony and superficial recognition damages the relationship. By being someone who truly appreciates people, influential leaders are placed in a category above all the people who haven’t noticed them.
They Welcome Disagreement
Influential leaders never react defensively or emotionally to dissenting opinions. Instead, they welcome diversity. Great people are not full of themselves, but are humble enough to see that someone else might know better than them. If that person also happens to be right, they embrace their opinions with welcoming arms.
They Can Think For Themselves
Great leaders are not buffeted by public opinion or latest trends. Their opinions are based on facts. While they can always change their minds when confronted with facts, they are not influenced by what other people think of them.
They Work To Be Empathetic
Here’s a quote by Henry Ford: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” As such, influential leaders never manipulate people with deception, but make decisions which benefit all parties involved.
They Look for Things you have in Common
No matter how different you are from someone, if you look close enough, you would find something you have in common. When you find a common ground, you can cultivate stronger connections with the person you wish to have a greater influence over.
They Are Determined
Influencers leaders always see things through to completion and don’t call it quits when the going gets tough. They keep the larger picture in mind and their attention to detail is immaculate. They keep an eye out for anything that might help them achieve their goals. They don’t give up easily when things seem to be going south.
They Take Risks
Influential leaders are big proponents of “no risks, no rewards.” Influential leaders are huge risk-takers. Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, says that “In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” Great leaders instill confidence in themselves when they take risks, and confidence is the secret to winning over people. They possess the confidence to encourage others to take a leap of faith, take tough decisions, and act in a timely manner.
They Are Optimistic
Passionate leaders live life the “sunny side up”, with a “Can-do” attitude. They have a knack for invigorating others so easily and driving employee motivation higher, and it is hard not to get swept up in their wave of optimism. They fervently dive into new and unprecedented things with calculated recklessness. In their dictionary, “impossible” doesn’t exist. Their positivity and enthusiasm can liven up the workplace. They are constantly looking for ways to passionately energize and instigate people and make work enjoyable for their team. They get work done by making even the most mundane tasks fun and challenging!