There is a fast paced evolution going on in the world, and the pace of change is only going to keep on increasing. It is prompting us to rethink everything we do and how we do it – to rethink how we will operate as leaders in the future. This is challenging us to create new systems for success and to learn to lead movements, and to help teams to innovate, to be curious about new solutions.
In this regard, some people seem particularly born to excel. It seems they are gifted physically, intellectually or artistically, and it seems like they just float to the top. But this is predominantly a misconception. However talented someone is, he or she will still have to develop those talents to achieve a high standard professional position. Each one of us can develop our own skills and talents to propel ourselves into a position of influence.
Building an evolving network
In an ever changing world, where dreams of change are big and visions of a future, having a real and genuine network of a selected group of people who are working closely together, strategically creating plans to succeed is very important. This is not about quantity, but rather like-minded people who know what they want to achieve and how to go about it. It’s about a group of people providing quality thinking; creating new perspectives; pushing you further than you could ever go alone, and also supporting you and taking great pleasure in seeing you succeed.
Developing decision making skills
Every word we speak, every choice and action we take, has the ability to influence people’s decisions. It could be someone next to you or someone halfway across the globe. One quality that pops out in a top leader’s competency to lead is the ability to decide, be it as a simple thing as to where a meeting to be conducted, to taking strategic decisions like where to invest marketing dollars. Decisiveness is not an inborn trait; it’s a skill that can only be learned overtime. To gain control over it, one must ponder over their decision-making and recognize weak links in reasoning and spot any biases towards something or someone. While controlling the outcome is difficult, we can at least give a direction to the process that set them in motion.
To see potential in new people and in the collective intelligence is part of the art of influence. It is understood that by working together, we create diverse opportunities, accepting different corporate and entrepreneurial viewpoints and seeing the value of cross-sector relationships. It is about understanding that, it is all about collective good.
Honing speaking skills
When we talk about most influential personalities, a critical requirement is being a great speaker. Though many influencers operate quite effectively from behind the scenes, the ones with great oratory skills possess a powerful leverage over others. You can influence more, if you have the ability, the drive and the courage to speak persuasively. Every day more and more organizations, corporations, schools and presenters strive to incubate the imagination of the workers, executives and students to push forward their agenda. Yet many give in to their fear of speaking in public and end up closing the door on a fast track to success and influence.
Like many other skills, this one too comes with repetition, practice, and persistence. Do not shy away from opportunities, put yourself in front of an audience, gather feedback, make adjustments and repeat. Start from smaller settings and grow from there, there is no limit to where your influence will grow with this skill.
Throw Complacency out of the window
You are your own competition. So make sure your first competitive audit is done against yourself. Make changes to your end goals, let them evolve with passing time; push yourself to do more and to do it better. Ask questions to yourself, ponder on it. Find the answers to whether you are on the path to success, or you are stuck because of your critics, or maybe it’s your self-doubt creeping into your life. Throw light on your inner-self and you will be enlightened.
A basic understanding of current affairs
It becomes difficult to influence others if you can’t continue an intelligent conversation and get stumped on basic topics of tax, elections, markets, unemployment, etc. It is not expected of you to be an expert on these topics, but you do need a basic understanding of them. Influencing someone is about shaping an opinion, an ability to steer conversations into friendly waters. To do this you need to gain everyday knowledge about what’s currently trending. So make it a habit to set aside 20 minutes every day to learn what’s new. Test your knowledge among friends and colleagues and see whether you are able to make well-informed points forward and also able to back it up. Build your knowledge incrementally and you will notice others reaching out to you for information.
Appreciate technology influence
The 21st century is ruled by social media, with Twitter and Facebook ruling communication technology, and has secured a strong foothold. Businesses are online, and so are the customers and recruiters. If googling yourself produces 30 other people and not you, it is time for you to up your online presence. For most people you come across, your reputation and influence will be perceived through what they can find about you on the internet.
Each individual is different, and even though every person possess diverse talents and skills, they need to work and enhance them; even the ones who are gifted and float through to corporate heights. The world is moving rapidly, and if you continue to sit still you might inevitably come to an influential standstill.