Thomas Kohntopp, a faculty member from Walden University in the USA rightly says, “It is the followers who define the leader. Without them, success is up to chance.”
When it comes to being a leader, the ability to influence the followers matters a great deal. The game of sticks and carrots may not always work to persuade, motivate or manipulate people into doing something. Leaders make their followers see the things their way without exercising unjust power or authority.
Influencing the followers is an art and here is how you can do it.
Have a Vision
Leaders have a vision and look for ways to achieve that vision. It is necessary to have like-minded people in your team, who can work with you to make that vision a reality. Influencers make sure that their vision is innovative and exciting to inspire others around them. The world has witnessed several business leaders such as Bill Gates, Ratan Tata, N.R. Narayana Murthy and Mark Zuckerburg, among a few others, who have led others with the power of their vision.
Value Your Followers
Ditch the ‘I, me, my’ attitude. If you want to influence others, learn to value and cherish your followers/human resources. This means taking time to understand each person and knowing what motivates them. It is necessary to have followers with skills that you are lacking. This way, the leader-follower team forms a cohesive unit where every individual complements each other.
Empower the Followers
If, want to influence others, empower them by assigning them responsibilities. This demonstrates your trust and faith in them. Instead of barking orders, guide them when the going gets tough for them.
Look to Improve
Encourage your followers to look for problems in the system and then create a comprehensive plan on how to improve it. This blueprint will make them realize you did not achieve greatness by doing run-of-the-mill things. When others see that you are working to bring about a change for the better, they will be willing to follow and learn from you.
Bring a Change
Everyone knows how the great personalities Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa sacrificed their life for the betterment of society. Influencers have a vision that brings a change for the good. Good leaders look for opportunities to change things and improve life of others. This wins you followers who are ready to go out on a limb to ensure your change becomes a reality.
Leaders influence others to achieve goals by reaching their optimum potential. If you are a leader struggling to learn the art of influence, you can enrol in leadership courses. A strong base in leadership program could get you the followership you are looking at!