make and that their success is determined
by their ability to influence those choices.
They do not suffer under the illusion that
they are somehow supposed to control
others. Here’s something I’ve used to
reinforce this point with participants in my
leadership training sessions:
To influence the things we can only
influence, we must control the things
only we can control.
OK, I’ll admit to using a little play on words
here, but if you think about it, it makes
sense. As leaders, our objective is to influence the choices others make, and we’ve
agreed that influence is all that we can do.
Other people’s choices are things we can
In order to effectively influence the
choices others make, we must exercise the
only control we really have, and that’s self
control. In this instance I’m talking about
the choices we make, the ways that we
communicate and behave when trying
to influence the choices others make. A
prerequisite to enhancing our ability to
Your commercial portfolio
SENIOR LEADERSHIP SUMMIT:
influence the choices others make is our
willingness to acknowledge and improve
the choices we make. The choices we make
are the things only we can control.
Effective leaders are much more than
doers, and they recognize that control is
an illusion. Leaders are first and foremost,
influencers. If you are truly committed to
enhancing your leadership skills, here’s
something to remember: Self-Mastery
LEADERS’ TOOLS FOR INFLUENCING
THE CHOICES OTHERS MAKE
“It’s only words, and words are all I have, to
take your heart away.” In addition to demonstrating my recall of words from a song
that’s 30-plus years old (and, thereby, dating myself), I want to use this line from the
Bee Gees’ song, “Words”, to make a point
about the tools we have for influencing the
choices others make. The title of the song
accurately depicts one of those tools: our
words. And the line I quoted tells us something about two common mistakes made
by people in leadership positions.
The first mistake is assuming that
words are the only tools necessary for
influencing the choices others make. The
second mistake is acknowledging the
other tool, but assuming that it is less
important than their words.
The tool that leaders not only have,
but use continuously, is their behavior.
Words and actions are the tools that leaders use for influencing the choices others
make, and while words are powerful
tools, their power pales when compared
to the impact of behavior.
Here’s something I’ve come up with to
reinforce the power of your behavior as
What They See From You Is What You
can Expect to Get From Them. TSL
Jim Bearden, CSP, was a speaker at CFA’s
Senior Leadership Summit on March 25th
presenting: Leadership, Accountability &
Winning-The Relentless Search for Better
Ways. More information about Mr. Bearden can
be found at: www.jimbearden.com
In Control In Control
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