I love this next question from a WID Leadership Summit* attendee, who wants to know “How to better message and “sell” ideas and solutions to my leadership (as a worker-bee).” We covered some of the technical aspects of presentation development and delivery in the presence-focused session at the event. At the heart of this question, however, is successful influence–one of the key attributes related to the second question set, “What types of qualities do great leaders possess? How do those qualities/attributes help them be successful?”
A quick search of “leadership qualities” in books on Amazon yields over 7,000 results. For fun, here’s a link to a recent infographic shared on LinkedIn that offers a vastly simplified list of ten qualities of benefit in an “age of disruption.” For our purposes, we’ll focus on the element of influence.
Influence is critical to leadership success. Being skilled at this competency means a leader is able to frame issues and communicate in ways that resonate with listeners. She solicits feedback and insight from stakeholders and creates consensus and support for ideas, projects, and strategies. Finally, the effective influencer addresses concerns of individuals who do not necessarily support her project and assures they do not feel marginalized when her proposals are adopted.
Remember, in the last RWRQ post, I intentionally separated “leadership” from role. Women do not have to wait to hold a position of authority to demonstrate the leadership attribute of influence. In fact, skillful influence enables a person at any level to build rapport with colleagues, gain access to organizational leaders, and expand her responsibilities. Combining influence with successful execution, in turn, position her for more significant roles and projects with greater visibility and importance.
One of the books on the reading list (subscribe below**), The Influence Effect, includes several ways women can expand influence in the workplace. Have you had experiences where influencing others presented a specific challenge or positively facilitated an important decision? Feel free to reach out with your thoughts or share your story.
Before closing, in our next post, I’ll respond to questions about “finding the job I love,” pursuing “what I really want,” and facilitating a transition from corporate to “community benefit.” I’m considering launching a course pilot supporting women who want to identify or design a next career role or life phase. Is this you? If you would be interested in exploring a “what’s next,” please email me. Also, please complete this short survey so I better understand your need.
*The Women In Defense (WID) Palmetto Chapter hosted a leadership summit towards the end of 2017. I led two sessions—Growing through Disruption: Leverage the Power of Change for Career Success and Elevate Your Presence: Stand Up and Stand Out When Speaking and Leading—and invited attendees to submit questions. Responses to these questions appear in posts titled, Real Women, Real Questions.
To access the Leadership Essentials reading list, visit the LEADistics Portal and join the Explorers from the menu option.
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