(Influential Leadership) Be Ingeniously Competent

Let’s get into the third of the “Four Tests of A Leader.”  If you’re just joining us, here’s the first.


“Why Should I Follow You?”


Are you professional who knows your success depends upon leading other professionals? Maybe you lead a consulting practice group, a division in your company, a sales team, or employees of your own business. In any case, winning the power to lead others is no easy task and must be earned.


You must meet some stringent criteria before you can obtain effective influence. Your potential followers are sure to be asking the question: “Why should I follow you?” According to David H. Maister, author of the book True Professionalism, four tests must be met for a leader to answer this question.


Test #3: Competence

Pineapple Person In Sunglasses


If a follower is to listen to you, they will require you to have constructive new ideas on how to improve things. It’s often said that leaders must have vision. But isn’t vision the easy part?


“Let’s be the best, work as a team, provide superior service” – the words are always the same!! What’s hard is coming up with innovative approaches that will help the team achieve these goals!


So what’s your track record for creating new ways of doing things?


  • Have you ever suggested (or even better, implemented) new approaches to customer service or marketing?
  • New methodologies, templates, or tools?
  • New ways to train and develop people?
  • Where is the evidence of your creativity in running any aspect of your business?


Massive Action Step


This week brainstorm at least five to ten things that can be improved in how you and your team perform. Prioritize the top three and map out a plan to implement them in the next 60 to 90 days.


Important: share this with your team next week so that there is a built-in commitment for you to follow through and deliver.   (If you feel like sharing them here, that will provide extra accountability!)


When you deliver, your people will be inspired to deliver as well.


Watch next week for Test#4 of what you must do to be seen as a true leader.


(Contributed by David Miller.)

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