The second law of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is The Law of Influence.
The Law of Influence states that “the true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.”
It’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position. — Stanley Hufty
If you are a leader or you aspire to develop your leadership skills, I will encourage you to buy and study (not only read) the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership book by my mentor and friend John C. Maxwell.
The leadership laws Dr. Maxwell discussed in the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is universal and it works either you are leading yourself, a family, a church, an organization, a company, a local government, or a nation. Follow them and people will follow you.
Although she was frail and not very impressive upon first appearance, Mother Teresa is very influential. She was probably the most respected person on the planet in her time because when she spoke, people listened.
Dr. Maxwell debunked the myths about leaders and leadership:
- Management Myth – leading and managing are not the same thing. A manager focuses on maintaining systems and processes while a leader influence people to follow.
- Entrepreneur Myth – Though very skilled at spotting opportunities and going after them, not all entrepreneurs are good with people.
- Knowledge Myth – “Knowledge is power” but intelligent and knowledgeable people are not necessarily leaders.
- Pioneer Myth – The fact that you are the first does not make you a leader. A leader is not only out front, but also has people intentionally coming behind him
- Position Myth – “it’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position.” ~ Stanley Huffty
True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, assigned, or mandated. It comes only from influence.— John C. Maxwell
One of the best ways to test your influence as a leader is to lead a voluntary team because followers in voluntary organizations cannot be forced to get on board.
To find the best leaders in your organization, ask the candidates to leader a volunteer organization and see how they lead without leverage or position or incentive.
Action Points to Increase your Influence as a Leader
- Who you are. Build a reputable character. True leadership begins with your inner person.
- Who you know. Learn how to build the right kind of relationships with the right people. You can’t hate people and lead them at the same time.
- What you know. You have to like information, be able to grasp facts, understand timing and trends. Take the time to gain knowledge, you are the leader.
- What you feel. You can rely only on data, facts, trend, and information. Sometimes, you’ve got to be able to smell a situation and follow your gut feelings.
- Where you’ve been. Don’t waste your experience. Although past performance does not always guarantees future results, It encourages people to give you a chance.
- What you’ve done. Nothing speaks to followers like a good track record. Every time you extend yourself, take a risk, try something new, and succeeded, you give your followers another reason to trust you.
- What you can do. Know what you are capable of. Know your strengths. Your followers want to know if you can deliver and if you can lead them to victory.