As I’m gearing up to do a 360 review of a growing company in Portland, I’ve been thinking about why some people/companies thrive and others don’t.
Some of you know I work with the CPI 260® assessment which breaks down 26 different characteristics and then funnels them into 5 core performance areas. One of those performance areas is called “Sustaining the Vision.” Within that area there are 4 leadership characteristics. They are Self-Confidence, Managing Change, Influence & Comfort with Visibility. Of course, for me, this is fascinating stuff because within each of these leadership characteristics there are a number of scale combinations that show a person’s relative strength & developmental opportunities.
With this in mind, I was thinking about the leadership characteristic of influence. Why do some people/companies thrive, even in a down economy? Well, according to the science, it has to do with a person’s dominance and sociability. In other words, people with influence like to be in charge, but being in charge isn’t enough. That dominance has to be combined with a social aspect. Sociability means that a person is drawn to people, enjoys being in new situations, they are optimistic and socially competent.
So then why do some people/companies thrive? Simply put they use their charismatic gifting to leverage the potential they see in others. Now that’s influence!
Ben Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, spoke about influence in this way, “if their eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it.” What a great benchmark to lead by. Do the people under your leadership have “shining eyes?” In other words, are you inspiring them? Do they want to produce excellence when you are around? Are you empowering them to pursue the possibilities or do you have them focused on the day to day whirlwind?
What is leadership? It’s the job of getting people from here to there. Therefore, leaders have to have the ability to influence. How? They use their leadership to unleash the possibilities in the people they lead. In other words, their expectation of their people is off the charts. Believing this, they empower and equip accordingly.
How’s your leadership? Are you just dominant or do you know how to leverage your dominance to unleash the potential in the people around you?
Take some time to reflect on this by watching an excellent Ted talk by Ben Zander about how he unleashes possibility in people. It will take you 20 minutes, but it will be time well spent.