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?