How will you use your influence this week?

We sometimes mistake confidence for leadership.  Because someone has the confidence to stand in front and take charge does not mean they are qualified to lead.  When you stand up you influence others.  It will be up to you whether you are deliberate and intentional about the messages you deliver.  Here are some things to consider when you have an opportunity to influence others this week.
BE PREPARED:  before you speak.  Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  If you own the company, are in a position of authority or are a parent, you can get away with emotional or negligent decision making processes.  As a person of influence, your significance will be measured by your diligence to a decision making process that is both researched, measured, and fair. Take this free test to determine the level of skill you have in decision making.  (You don’t have to supply any of your information to take it)
LEAVE TIME:  to receive feedback.  It matters what someone you are influencing thinks and feels about the message you are delivering to them.  When you are planning your delivery are you leaving space and time to solicit and be affected by their feedback?  Here’s some tips on how best to receive and encourage feedback.  
RESPECT OTHERS:  Time and point of view.  Rihanna showed up 4 1/2 hours late to an event at a Chicago High School last week.  Her message appeared to the waiting students that her time was more valuable than theirs since she did not apologize or explain her tardiness.  Here’s some tips on how to demonstrate respect at work.  
EVERYTHING COMMUNICATES:  something.  You will  influence others not just by what you say.  If your words are not in alignment with your actions you will not achieve your desired outcomes.  If you are consistently late, are frequently dismissive of other people’s feelings or opinions on your team, non-appreciative, or speak more than you listen, these actions communicate something to those you want to influence.  Just like your frequent hard work, timeliness, concern, and appreciation communicate your willingness to put your team’s needs above your own.
The road to success is not sexy.  True leadership is truly selfless.  Power is a privilege. Significant influence is a gift that others give you because you have earned it.
Take each step as a leader this week knowing that everything that you do will communicate something. Choose wisely.

A big thank you
 to my husband Allen who is always communicating through his actions and words his support and encouragement.  I am blessed to have people like Jeff, Taylor, and Brian who communicate dedication and devotion to our work and someone like Kevin McAllister (Scott) and so many others of you who are consistently an inspiration for our course work.
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