Leadership is undoubtedly one of the most important qualities in any organization. Leaders are highly valued in their companies because they drive and generate added value. In addition, they are in charge of the interaction process between the people who make up the company; they lead their energies, their capabilities and the group’s activities with a clear objective: to achieve the goals. Kimberly Rosales, a connoisseur of how to carry out successful operations, provides some steps to influence and lead effectively.
According to Rosales, a leader is nothing more than having followers, while leadership is about influence. “Influence is the most important tool of leadership, because it is what makes followers perform their tasks properly,” she says. “If the leader is very influential, his or her followers will do everything possible to achieve the proposed objectives, while if their level of influence is weak, they will only do the minimum necessary to stay in their job.”
The important thing, then, is to understand what makes a leader more or less influential over his or her people and how one can work to increase the current level of influence. There is a wealth of information and methodologies on the market about leadership.
The samurai code, as it is also known, is a set of principles that prepare a warrior to lead and command without losing sight of our humanity or contact with his or her core values. Although it may seem old-fashioned, many teachings from this code can be rescued and applied to business life.
That is why business coaching specialist Rosales has shared some steps for effective influence and leadership. Among them, first and foremost, it is important to look for strengths and unique qualities.
Samurai warriors were obliged to constantly educate themselves in order to polish their strengths and improve their weaknesses, even in fields in which they were experts. They also had to know the strengths of their team in order to work together and win in battle.
As they did, focus on those personal characteristics that both the leader and the team have in order to win. One way to get to know the team is to write down in a notebook everything they do well: capabilities, emotional strengths and virtues.
Rosales also suggests encouraging and inspiring others to develop the practice and release unique strengths and qualities. Samurai had a social obligation to share their virtue with those hierarchically below them and to serve as an example to them. The leader has an obligation to help and inspire his or her team, to know their strengths and use them to the team’s advantage.
“One of the keys to becoming an influencer is to start delivering on everything you say,” Rosales asserts. “Let the talking be exactly the same as the doing, as if you were a samurai leader. People in our environment will start to respect us and even follow us, because we all want to follow an exemplary person who is authentic.”
Don’t be afraid to point in one direction and take action, based on shared principles. The samurai code was not just a list of rules, but a strict lifestyle that warriors were to adhere to, basing all their decisions on the seven values of bushido: justice, courage, compassion, respect, honor, loyalty and absolute sincerity.
As a leader, one must focus on goals and help the team reach them without losing values, principles and control. A boss instills fear and trepidation, while a leader inspires confidence.
Getting out of the way of others is another important step to take. “Life is full of battles; however, not all of them are our responsibility. We constantly face challenges that tend to become personal, we spend time and energy in solving them. When we manage to overcome them, we discover that this achievement was not what we were looking for,” suggests the specialist.
And finally, it is not too much to learn from others and their environment. They say that wise people learn from their enemies and, in this case, your work environment and co-workers are the ones from whom you can learn since you automatically and naturally tend to imitate those people who are part of your circle. Whether it is to avoid replicating harmful attitudes or environments or to learn how to develop new skills, it is important to observe your surroundings and take advantage of your co-workers’ knowledge and skills to learn from them.