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There are 3 i’s in leadership

Leadership, like any skill, requires mastery. It relies heavily on continuous self improvement.

Great leaders spend time reflecting on the way they impact others; they are self aware and know how to convey their message so that it is heard and acted upon – and they don’t give up.

To lead, there are hundreds of things we are supposed to have our attention on. I like to think in threes – I can remember things in three, and I can keep them front of mind and take action on them daily.

Inspire, Influence, Include,

then do

Include; Inspire and Influence

then the other way around.

Influence, Include, Inspire

Either way, keep doing these three things.

There are three i’s in leadership.

Inspire: to breathe life into

That is your job.

Great leaders bring out the best in others. They will do this in the face of resistance. The day will come when you will be thanked for your willingness to push others through their limits. You, the leader, are the one who believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves. Think of someone in your life who believed in you more than you did yourself or inspired you to take action when you were hesitating. I bet you remember them with fondness and gratitude. At the end of this article, write to them and thank them for the crucial part they played  in your leadership development.

Drew Dudley, the founder of Nuance Leadership Development, Canada, calls this the ‘lolly pop’ moment in our lives; where we made a difference to another, or a difference was made to us. Have a listen to his talk, you will be inspired.

Drew Dudley: Everyday Leadership 

There are hundreds of opportunities every day for you to ‘breathe life into’ someone. We challenge you to take it on as a practice in your organisation and watch the flow on effect.

Influence: the capacity of a person to be a compelling force on the actions, behaviour’s and opinions of others 

“95% of success in business lies in our ability to read, lead and influence the behaviours of ourselves and others.” Daniel Goldman, Author, Emotional Intelligence.

How you lead and conduct ourselves within the organisation, determines how effective you are at influencing others. This in turn, impacts the decisions that are made within the business. If you want your  vision put into practice within the company, then you will need to master how to lead with influence.

Your influence, is best done by doing what is best for the organisation, not yourself. You are a team player.  You trust, empower and appreciate everyone within the organisation (not just your direct reports).

When you influence with integrity people will choose to follow your lead willingly, not out of obligation.

Inclusion: the act of taking in to become part of a whole group

People want to feel like they belong – we humans are pack animals. According to Buber, a 20th Century Philosopher  ”we don’t exist other than in relationship with another human being.”

David Griggs, one of my mentors and former President of the National Speakers Association, told us this story. At his first meeting, he felt for the first time in his life, he was home and belonged there.  He felt he could be a part of something. This was his tribe. And as Seth Godin highlights, “tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big changes.”

Having your people feel like they are a part of something, and that their contribution makes a difference and they fit in, is paramount to your success. You’ve heard the term ‘they just weren’t a cultural fit’, well it’s true. There are some tribes that you just won’t fit into and that’s OK. What’s not OK is staying or keeping people who don’t. Leaders  make that hard call, with compassion.

As a leader; make sure you’re breathe life into your people and start with yourself. You can’t inspire someone else if you’re not inspired by you.

Influence your people and create a vision that will inspire them and compel them into action. Are they included and feel part of the tribe?

Useful questions I ask myself everyday are

Am I inspiring?

Do they know what our vision is?

Is my influence sufficient? Are they taking actions in line with the vision?

Am I being inclusive? Are they forming teams?

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