Law of Influence: Influence is the Power of Leadership

As I discussed in my earlier leadership blog post under the shade of the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership by Maxwell that these leadership laws can be learnt, they can stand alone, they carry consequences and these laws are the foundation of leadership. Today I am going to discuss the Law # 2 that is the Law of Influence. The main theme of this law is: the true measure of leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.

If you don’t have influence on others then you will never be able to lead them. The true Leadership cannot be assigned to you, you have to achieve it over time.

Five Myths of Leadership:

There are five major myths about leadership :

The management myth – where we often believe that leading and managing are the same thing. But it is not true because leadership is more about influencing people while management is all about maintaining predetermined system and processes, formulated by a leader.

The entrepreneur myth -holds that entrepreneurs are real leaders. In the Law # 1, we have seen that McDonald brothers were entrepreneurs but Ray Kroc was a real leader. So entrepreneurs are not always leaders, they rather skilled in identification of business opportunity.

In knowledge myth we generally believe that the person who is having more knowledge and intelligence is a leader. But it is not true because we can easily find that research scientists who are having huge knowledge in the subject but they might not be the good leaders.

The pioneer myth says that anyone who is out in front of the crowd is a leader. It is true that a person has to be out in front but he must also have people who are willing to follow him. Without followers a person cannot be a leader.

In position myth we believe a person’s position makes him a leader. It may be wrongly misinterpreted by the subordinates of an autocratic leadership position. In fact, title or position cannot make anyone a leader, it is the leader who creates position.

Characteristics of a Good Leader

An influencing leader has a good character, strong relationships, abundant knowledge, clear intuition, great experience, good success history and ability to accomplish a job. So if you have these characteristics as much as you need, then you are a good leader or you have opportunity to become a good leader.

Leadership cannot be judged or measured in a formal organisation where management hierarchy is present. Rather, if you work in an informal organization, like a volunteer organization then you can assess your real leadership.

Five Levels of Leadership

There are five levels of Leadership of Influence, are arranged from lowest level to highest level as under 5 P’s:

(1) Position: People sometimes follow you as they have to, because you have a good rank or position in the organization. People think this as their Rights. (2) Permission: Some of them may follow you because of your relationship with them. (3) Production: Some people may follow you because what you have done for the organization. (4) People Development: Some people may follow you because what you have done for them. And (5) Personhood: some may follow you because of who you are and what you represent in the organization.

To emerge as a leader you have to be a person of influence, to be a people person. You should have certain level of influence with the leaders of your organisation. Again, you must measure the level of your influence with the followers of your organisations. Find out top 10 influencer of your organisation and lastly, you must have the ability to influence the influencers of your organisation.

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