Influence Supercedes Power

One of the great misunderstandings in leadership is the idea that, in order to lead, one must demonstrate power.

In many circumstances, leaders do posses power over those of whom they are leading. In some situations, the leader believes it is their duty to exercise this power in order to be a good leader. This may work temporarily to get tasks completed, but it falls short of real leadership.

Here’s a suggestion: Great leaders exercise influence above power.

In other words, leaders should desire to influence their followers in a way that doesn’t force them to exercise power. A leader’s desire should be to lead people to make the right decisions, rather than having to force them to.

Ultimately, a great leader influences people in a way that allows them to trust those in which they are leading.

True leadership means that followers not only do the right things, but have a “want to” to do the right things.

Our exercise of influence should always supercede our exercise of power.

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