The Relationship of Influence in Leadership

origin_5217160895It seems the new buzzword these days is “Influencer.” Everyone is an influencer now.  However, influence is not something that can be bought or sold, rather it has to be earned.

To be influential, you must first be trustworthy. Influence is not something you can give unless you have authority or knowledge that others value. The title and position we hold is not merely just words on our business card. It is from this place the greater importance is placed on the influence of the individual.

For those leaders who are in a position held with high regard, influence must be wielded with care and precision.  The influence these individuals have over us can shape our attitude and behavior.  They are the trend setters, the revolutionaries and thought leaders who can shape the direction for masses.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.  

For one to be influenced by another, we must believe in the individual. We must value their opinion and have respect for their leadership. The lynchpin of influence is in our ability to build and maintain relationship. Without a strong connection to those we find influential, there is no value to their opinion.  We tend to trust deeper when we have developed a relationship with those influential folks.  There is a strong connection built in relationships. And with that connection, the power of influence is born.

Our influence over others should be treated with great reverence.  Influence card should never be used lightly.  Our reputation and integrity are tied to our influence. And when you decide to use your influence with others, it should be noted that your reputation is on the line as well.  Abuse your influence, and you can quickly lose more than the power of influence – you lose respect and credibility as well. Both of which are incredibly hard to retain and ever hard to regain if lost.

The Choice Is Up To Us…

Influence doesn’t know right from wrong.  It is dependent on the user to know how to select where they want their influence to take them.  The power of influence allows you to motivate others or demotivate them.  It all comes back to your choice.  When you put your influence into action, consider that those who have developed a bond with you will always look to you for your opinion and expertise.  Are you going to let them down with a poor choice or will you retain your position of influence with a solid choice that benefits others?

photo credit: photosteve101 via photopin cc

Jennifer Olney
Jennifer is the Founder and CEO of GingerConsulting which is the parent company of #bealeader™. Jennifer brings over 20 years of real world leadership experience to the table. She has been leading her own company and working with organizations from Maryland to San Jose, CA by leading teams in marketing and business development. As a progression of her journey, Jennifer founded #bealeader™ to move the conversation forward and provide services to all who seek to refine the leader within. As part of the mission of #bealeader™, the #bealeader™ community has been created to bring together the power of leaders from all around the global and to put their experience and knowledge to use to create the next generation of leaders.
Jennifer Olney


  1. says

    Great reminder about the power that is wielded in the hands of those we value and respect. While reading your post, I was reminded of several old adages: "Do as I say, not as I do" and "My way or the highway." These types of sentiments come from those who get corrupted by power and don't realize how much strength and influence comes from acts of service and, as you said, building relationships.
    My recent post Feed a Care, Starve a Fear

  2. alaskachick says

    This is outstanding! I love your reminder, statement, about how hard it is to become an influence ~ is nothing compared to how hard it is to regain that influence if the trust is broken. Because that right there is the point (IMO!) First- it shouldn't be an issue to base anything on- if the world and all us people in it were perfect- but (BUT!) It is there, to give us pause in our driving need to push ahead and keep going. It is that extra breath and thought we give our choices to be sure what we do is the right thing and for the right reasons. A check that we give ourselves before we call upon our influence. Thank you for this.

  3. says

    Love this: "Influence doesn’t know right from wrong. It is dependent on the user to know how to select where they want their influence to take them."

    Shows the importance of leaders to work on developing the "inside stuff" even more than the "outside shine."

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