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Leadership Excellence | The 3 Principles of Influential Leadership

The Influential Leader is an extremely powerful, confident, passionate, connected and engaged leader who works across organizations building networks horizontally and vertically to align the organization to the purpose and goals and an envisioned future. The three core principles of Influential Leadership are : Engagement, Performance and Influence

The Influential Leader is an extremely powerful, confident, passionate, connected and engaged leader who works across organizations building networks horizontally and vertically to align the organization to the purpose and goals and an envisioned future. The three core principles of Influential Leadership are : Engagement, Performance and Influence

The Leadership Principle of Engagement

Engagement is an overused term that many people do not understand. Engagement is about Connection with other people in the organization and outside of the organization. Connected Influential Leaders know their employees and others in the organization personally and professionally and establish connections by sharing stories and interests of themselves. Connected Influential Leaders develop a growth culture by aligning the organization to the purpose and goals of the organization and being heavily involved in the business. Influential Leaders are connected to their teams and other teams to create alignment and make a difference in the organization.

Engagement is also about Building other People by being generous with your time, knowledge and experience and sharing with others freely to help them develop and grow skills and experiences of their own. The Influential Leader builds trust among the organization by enabling calculated risks and consistently executing every day for ongoing wins and successes. You teach others willingly, are not in fear of others with better skills in a particular area, but are able to leverage those skills to drive a Growth Mindset.

Engagement is about Learning and Problem Solving. Influential Leaders are highly intelligent and constantly learning new processes, technologies, skills, and behaviors to tune the machine. You solve problems with clarity of communication and are solution oriented, looking for positive outcomes even from failures in the organization. This level of engagement creates a culture of Growth.

The Leadership Principle of Performance

Performance is that base requirement for every organization. Individuals and teams in organizations are required to perform at a certain level or you are deemed unprofitable or unnecessary. But Performance is not as simple as “Achieving Results” – performance includes the manner in which results are achieved. Leaders that achieve financial results and destroy teams in the process only create a new problem of replacing people exiting the business and taking valuable insights and experiences with them. Performance is achieved by Influential Leaders through a focus on Results through Skill Development, Encouraging and developing others, and being Accountable for performance.

Performance Skills include a range of competencies including Social Skills, Technical Skills, Ethical Skills and Personal Skills. Influential Leaders build skills personally and in others to achieve or exceed the purpose and goals of the organization. Influential Leaders also build skills in themselves, in your teams and others to achieve an envisioned future. Future “skilling” and building capabilities to achieve an envisioned future is a hallmark of Influential Leaders.

  1. Social Competence is about being able to seamlessly move through and across organization and to customers and vendors to align results. Social Competence is about being able to drive performance by socializing expectations, building a positive working environment and a Growth Mindset.
  2. Ethical Competence is about the ability of the Influential Leader to abide by the core values of an organization and their own personal core values to build Trust and Respect in organizations. Ethical Competence is about transparency, authenticity, actually caring about people and having standards that the organization strives to meet.
  3. Technical Competence is the actual ability to perform the tasks related to a job. Influential Leaders are technically competent at the tools they use and are able to develop others in technical skills unrelated to their own but necessary for the organization to perform.
  4. Personal Competence is the ability to communicate with clarity, ensuring organizations are aligned. It is about empathy and listening, learning and teaching others. And most importantly, Personal Competence is about connection to others.

And of course Performance is about results. Influential Leaders are metric driven and focused on the short term purpose and goals for the organization. Performance is a complex mix of personal and professional skills with accountability as the backdrop for achieving or exceeding expectations.

The Leadership Principle of Influence

The new imperative for Leadership in America and really across the globe is the principle of Influence. There are Leaders who lead from a position of authority granted to them by the managerial role that they occupy.


The Influential Leader achieves power through influencing teams, individuals, clients, customers, vendors and partners to achieve the purpose of the organization and its goals WITHOUT direct authority. Influence is the confluence of Courage, Character, Empowerment and Vision.


The Influential Leader is the most dynamic leader in an organization, armed with a level of confidence derived from competence and previous success in the organization. They bring a level of authority earned in the trenches and defined by their ability to connect and engage others through personal and professional skills.


Influence requires courage – courage to act, courage to listen, courage to take risks. Influential Leaders derive their Courage from Connecting with others and Empowering others to succeed and giving the credit for success to others while owning the failures for themselves. Influential Leaders absorb failure as Learning, not an end, but a beginning of something better.


They are immune to setbacks and have a powerful Growth Mindset because they have an envisioned future of the organization that is clear, prosperous and important. Influential Leaders manage the short term purpose and goals of an organization and align those gains to the longer term vision of a higher performance organization that enriches everyone it touches – customers, vendors, partners, employees and other leaders. They are equipped with a level of character because they are authentic, not drawn to platitudes, they are earnest in their passion for the organization and the people who comprise it and the customers they serve. Their Character is defined by their ability to Connect and Inspire others and by sharing as much or more of themselves as they ask from others.


Influence is by far the most complicated and demanding of the three principles. You requires a selfless approach to Opportunism because Opportunities benefit the organization first and the leader second. They are the leaders of leaders and the person that the organization looks to as a solution oriented problem solver and an excellent communicator. Influence is a powerful principle because it has no authority other than the charisma, character, accountability and empowerment that it delivers across the organization. The Influential Leader is the person that EVERYONE wants to work with and work for. It is the new dynamic of networked leadership versus hierarchical structure and the ability to not “get things done” but to execute at a high level consistently and deliver exceptional performance for the organization.


The Principles of Leadership have shifted to Engagement, Performance and Influence. Deeply interconnected and powered by a Growth Mindset the Influential Leader is the rising star and the champion of organizational performance.


What do you think?

1 comment

  1. Great thoughts! Leaders who are truly influential make a difference in their organizations. Yes, they are also engaging and champions of superior performance.

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