Thoughts on leadership, power & influence

Leadership is about influencing people to achieve results.
Traditionally we did this through command and control from a strong base of position power. This got things done – but at what cost in terms of quality, people engagement, development, commitment and sustainability?
I have the privilege of working with many senior leaders. They transform the severe limitations of command & control to leadership behaviour of engagement, achievement, commitment and sustainable performance.
So how do leaders transform their behaviour? Quite simply by developing the humility, courage and skills to ask great questions and listen carefully to the answers they get.
Experience and research teach us that we actually gain positive power and huge influence by asking the right questions and listening.
Is it easy? Asking questions and listening effectively are actually very easy skills to develop – if we want to!
In our experience the huge challenge is for leaders to develop the maturity to revisit big egos, status, position power, arrogance and a few other common traits. Develop the necessary humility, courage, patience and belief and the journey is very definitely possible.

I would like to acknowledge the excellent work of many people in the field of leadership and questioning, especially Prof Michael Marquardt as recently published in his book ‘Leading with Questions’
So what are your views and experiences?

About the author

Ron McLuckie - Ron is Chairman & Chief Executive of WIAL India which he established in March 2012 and serves on the global board of the World Institute for Action Learning. He is a highly experienced international consultant and Action Learning authority. Ron has held senior executive roles in major organizations, senior lectureships and led a number of international consulting companies. His special interest is in developing skilled leaders who can drive business success and bridge the ‘knowing/doing gap’. His passion is challenging the conventional development approaches that do not work and finding effective ways of developing people and organization capability. He is also a proud granddad of three grandsons.

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