What does “idealized influence” mean? And why is this important for leaders? Leaders play a significant role in the lives of their workforce. Transformational leaders can affect the trajectory of an individual’s professional and personal life. There are many people who have profoundly influenced my thinking and decision-making throughout my career and personal history. The majority occupied a leadership position with a past employer or a client that I have been fortunate to get to know well. Others have been role models, or individuals that I greatly admired outside of work. They all had one trait in common: The capacity to inspire me to take a positive step to improve myself or take a particular course of action. The degree to which a leader is able to affect people and create a desire in others to willingly change is directly related to their character.
It is difficult to follow or emulate a leader’s actions in the absence of trust, respect or admiration. People pay close attention to a leader’s behavior, gravitating toward those who show genuine interest in helping an individual succeed and achieve his or her goals, without taking any credit. The transformational leader focuses on building individual relationships, injecting confidence and belief rather than operating from ego-based impulses. This type of leader personifies Idealized influence.
While organizations undergo constant change that is either self-imposed or reactive, transformational leadership remains in vogue. I have encountered dynamic, forward-thinking leaders who have been at the help of their organizations for decades. Regardless of diverse demographics, they endear themselves because they do not seek adulation or accolades. Rather, they lead selflessly and exemplify the values of their organizations. Such leaders have caused me to reflect on my own beliefs regarding risk-taking, how I conduct myself around my team, my interactions with clients as well as the commitments I make to myself.
It behooves leaders to remember that accountability is a two-way street. To gain trust, respect and buy-in, leaders need to self-reflect and ensure that they role model the behaviours that they expect in others. If you wish to be seen as a transformational leader, be mindful of the power of your influence. As a leader, you are ideally positioned to bring out the best in others when you consistently demonstrate the best version of yourself.
Michelle Ray (Twitter) is one of the best international leadership keynote speakers in Vancouver. She helps you discover your potential through presentations, coaching and consulting. With over 20 years of experience Michelle has worked with hundreds of companies around the world. She is taking bookings for speaking engagements and can be contacted at MichelleRay.com