Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are You Throwing Away Influence?

Photo by kanko

Every day aspiring leaders have multiple chances to increase their influence, but these opportunities are often ignored.

These vital missed chances speak volumes about the leader and their sense of entitlement or ignorance of others. It can be an epidemic of lost leadership!

You can reverse the trend and increase your influence if you simply:

Show appreciation.

That's it! Effective leaders understand that no one owes them a thing. Even a parent taking care of their child, while clearly right and moral, is still optional. Leaders consistently take advantage of opportunities to demonstrate their appreciation for others.

People give their best effort when they want to do something. So go ahead - show some appreciation.
  • Say thank you. Regularly. Whenever anyone does something for you...can we ever express enough gratitude?
  • Celebrate accomplishment. Take time to acknowledge the things you want more of. If someone does an exceptional job, but it doesn't seem to matter to you - you're much less likely to see it again. Even the most internally motivated like to know they've done well.
  • Find out how people like to be acknowledged. Some prefer a quiet thank you in private. Others are motivated by public recognition. Still others by an afternoon off, or lunch on you, or a dinner with their spouse. There are many ways to encourage and thank others - just be sure to do it in a way that matters to them.
  • Celebrate values. If someone lives out an organizational value - even if the outcome isn't what they hoped - honor them. Tell the story! 
  • The five bean technique. This one has been around a long time, but is a great system for developing a personal habit of encouraging others. Place five beans or other small objects in one pocket. Each time you encourage someone for something meaningful, transfer one object to your other pocket. Don't leave for the day until you've got all five objects transferred. Several weeks of this and you'll be a regular encourager!
How do you show appreciation for your team?

For more, read: It Never Gets Old

Thanks for reading,

David M. Dye

If you know someone who would benefit from this post or the entire blog, please retweet, like, share, +1, or email it on. Thanks!

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Twitter: @davidmdye
David shares twenty years experience teaching, coaching, leading, and managing in youth service, education advocacy, city governance, and faith-based nonprofits. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Colorado UpLift and enjoys helping others discover and realize their own potential.

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