Leadership and Influence

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CHAPTER 6: LEADERSHIP AND INFLUENCE
Page No.166: Credibility: The Key to Successful Influence
First, if there is one defining characteristic of leaders who are effective over long periods of time, it's that they behave in ways that cause people to see them as credible. That means that they are believed, and trusted, both in the specifics of what they say, and generally, as people. How do they do this?

First, credible leaders are consistent in their words and their behaviors. They are not constantly shifting courses, and reversing their decisions. They do not shift their leadership and management styles here and there. They are relatively predictable. Second, they are honest to the degree that it's reasonably possible to be so. That may sound odd, but leaders may be in positions where they cannot reveal everything they know to followers. In this sense honesty does not necessarily mean sharing everything (since some things often need to remain confidential). It does mean that what a manager can share is the truth, even if it may not be the whole truth. Third, credibility and trustworthiness occur through personal contact, and effective interpersonal communication. For example a responsive leader will be perceived as more credible and trustworthy, as compared to a relatively non-responsive leader. And, a leader who knows when to interact face-to-face (rather than, let's say via email) will tend to be seen as more credible, and inspire greater loyalty compared to a leader who uses technology based communication. Leadership is a process of influencing relationships among people and, accordingly, leaders achieve credibility through human contact. Credible leaders interact with people, listen and communicate. By listening to constituents, leaders maintain situation awareness, receive important information, know what's going on and stay in touch with critical feedback. Leaders enhance their credibility when they distribute leadership throughout the organization, empower people to act and invest in building the competence of others. Credible leaders create conditions that build and reinforce people's confidence, create a sense of effectiveness and encourage performance. A good leader enables followers to develop judgment and initiative, grow and become better contributors, succeed without strong leadership, and gain independence to become leaders themselves. I contend that credibility — that quality of being believable, dependable, and worthy of people's trust and confidence— provides the foundation of leadership. As the world falls deeper into economic downturns and warfare, the question of credibility (how leaders gain and lose it) is more important than ever. Leadership is a process of influencing relationships among people and, accordingly, leaders achieve credibility through human contact. Credible leaders interact with people, listen and communicate. By listening to constituents, leaders maintain situation awareness, receive important information, know what's going on and stay in touch with critical feedback. Page No.180: The Leader as Negotiator

According to conventional wisdom, leading people requires vision, charisma, and a palpable self-confidence but not negotiation skills. Negotiation is for use outside the firm—for instance, in cutting deals with partners, customers, and suppliers. The conventional wisdom is dead wrong. Leadership frequently does require negotiation, and good leaders are invariably effective negotiators. After all, authority has its limits. Some of the people you lead are smarter, more talented, and in some situations, more powerful than you are. In addition, often you’re called to lead people over whom you have no authority, such as members of commissions, boards, and other departments in your organization. So what you do in all these situations??? You negotiate. What a leader can do to increase the ability to leverage three key aspects of negotiation—interests, voice, and vision—so as to improve...
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