Actions speak louder than words. This is true, my friend.
And what’s more if your actions inspire others to dream more and become more… then you are an influential leader – one that builds people up, encourages, supports and educates them to tap into their true potential because you believe in them.
In leadership when the feelings are mutual, between you and your team, or your peers, then the effort will be equal. And with equality, there is no above you, nor below you, it is always beside you. In my eyes, I believe there are three very important attributes that a leader should practice and they are reciprocity, commitment and consistency.
These naturally lead to respect, and therefore authority.
If you want to be an influential leader – a leader whom individuals will go the extra mile for, then you need to have ‘trust’ and ‘faith’ in your people, and instil in them confidence to make decisions. Once they begin to feel heard, valued, equal and alive, then they will want to be part of your team.
One of the best ways to do that is to ‘give’ much more than you get back – it’s just that simple!
You’ve heard the saying… you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours! In everything that we do there has to be a level of exchange. Confucius got it right… there is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life and that is reciprocity!!
Lack of reciprocity ruins relationships…
If we go a little deeper, the law of ‘reciprocity’ is when someone does something really nice for you, that it naturally creates a deep rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return.
You think about the last time someone did something nice for you… didn’t you feel obliged to repay them in some way shape or form? And do you know why? Well, because that inner tension you feel in your gut, the one that you created, is the gap between receiving and giving – that is often so powerful that we just automatically give in return just to reduce this uncomfortable feeling.
Now… giving and taking doesn’t always have to be immediate. Sometimes these little acts of giving build up over time and you don’t necessary need to give something back then and there, it can accumulate over time just like depositing money in a bank account… deposits come in and build up your credit! And when you have a bank balance of lots of credits, maybe just one day you may need a favour or two in return!
Be the energy you want to attract…
Have you ever checked in with yourself to ask yourself: what was my exchange of energy in that process that just took place?
Everything that we do is an ‘exchange’ of energy, and it doesn’t have to be big, it can be as simple as giving a bit of your time, information, praise or other less tangible things. Reciprocity can be subtle.
In saying this, it’s important that you understand I’m talking about giving ‘unconditionally’ – without expectation. Wait, what? Yes. We don’t need to give to receive. In fact, this mindset often just sets us up with a level of expectation, then guess what? You’ll probably be disappointed because you have no control over others and they will likely not meet what you’d hoped for. So, give … with a genuine heart. It feels better, anyway. Because …. What you put out there, you get back in bucket loads anyway! This I guarantee.
It’s simple really, if you want to be respected, then respect others. If you want to be trusted, then trust others. Whatever ‘vibe’ you are giving out… then you will naturally attract in others – positivity, kindness, and empathy. Conversely – if you’re giving out a cranky temper, or negativity, then guess what – it will come straight back to you!
Consistency isn’t rocket science, its commitment…
Commitment is what keeps you going, and that’s the second attribute. Without commitment, you will never start doing anything differently, and more importantly without consistency you will never finish. These two go hand in hand. And this has everything to do with your leadership brand. If you say you are going to do something, then do it!
This is where most leaders trip over, they over commit and then have to move things around in their diary, and in doing so they are letting someone down, and this is not a great exchange of energy. Over time your team or peers will accept it once or twice, if you’re lucky … but when it happens again and again and again, then this begins to tarnish your brand as a whole.
Once someone has labelled you in some way, it is very hard to reverse, so aim to get it right the first time – it’s less effort in the long run, and waaay more rewarding!
Trust is built with consistency…
If you want to be taken seriously as a leader, then you need to be consistent with your words, and consistent with your actions. A good leader will decide through ‘consistency’, that a certain action coheres with who they believe themselves to be. Thus, they make commitments — small but definitive actions… which advance this ideal.
If you are persistent with everything that you do, then you will get the trust and respect and if you are consistent with your words and action, you will have a team that will climb mountains for you, they will bend backwards to get to the results for you – working together as ‘one’ team. It takes discipline, daily discipline, and it can be your daily intention to be conscious about your words and action, and follow them through.
Authority comes from the wisest leaders…
This is how you build your ‘authority’ muscle, because the majority of the population is made up of followers. These people want to be lead, and they will respect authority figures who have an important message, an effective style, and a platform from which they speak from their heart.
As an authority leader, it is also essential to treat yourself with the same standards that you treat others around you. Don’t settle for anything less, because when you are kind to yourself, it creates confidence and it also gives others permission to do the same for themselves. You need to lead by example from the inside out.
When leaders have a high level of self-worth, then they are worthy of respect, their teams are willing to work with them. When their virtues are worthy of admiration, their authority can be established.
The highest duty is to respect authority. Authority leaders operate with enormous influence which is an incredible source of power.