Influence Leadership: How to Lead by Influence

influence leadership
Learning Strategies

Influence Leadership: How to Lead by Influence

In leadership, influence is a potent tool. Authentic leadership is about inspiring and guiding others through influence, whereas some leaders may rely on their position or authority to get things done. The ability to convince, inspire, and empower others to achieve common objectives is part of leading by influence.

In this article, we will investigate the impact of authority and give tips on the most proficient method to lead successfully by effects.

Who is an Influence Leader?

An influential leader can inspire, motivate, and guide others toward achieving common goals. They have a positive impact on individuals and the overall organization. The following qualities characterize an influential leader:

  • Visionary: An influential leader has a compelling and crystal-clear vision for the future. They can convey this vision to others, motivating them to work toward a common goal.
  •  Charismatic: Influential leaders frequently possess charisma, which enables them to establish personal connections with others. They naturally can persuade others to trust them.
  •  Fantastic relational abilities: Influential leaders are known for their ability to communicate effectively. They are capable of convincingly and clearly expressing their ideas and expectations. They encourage open dialogue, give feedback, and actively listen to other people.
  •  Set a good example: Influential leaders show the way. They exhibit the values and behaviors they expect from their coworkers. They encourage others to emulate their integrity, accountability, and professionalism.
  •  Sympathetic and steady: Empathy and support are essential qualities that influential leaders recognize. They care about their colleagues’ prosperity and discover opportunities to determine their necessities and concerns.
  •  Flexibility and an open mind: Powerful leaders are open to new ideas. They are open to new ideas and willing to question the status quo. They recognize that different points of view can result in better outcomes, which is why they encourage creativity and innovation.
  •  Team-oriented: Influential leaders place a high value on teamwork and collaboration. They foster a sense of community and cooperation among their team members. They value diverse points of view and actively seek team members’ opinions.
  •  Resilient: Persuasive pioneers show flexibility even with difficulties and mishaps. Even during trying times, they maintain their composure and remain optimistic.
  •  Continuous student: Persuasive pioneers have a hunger for information and self-awareness. They are always looking for opportunities to learn and improve their skills.

Why is Influence Important in Leadership?

Influence is crucial because it allows leaders to effectively guide and motivate their team members toward achieving common goals. Influence is essential in leadership because it does:

  • Helps leaders align their team members’ efforts with organizational objectives
  •  Promotes collaboration and teamwork within a group
  •  Motivates and engage team members through effective communication, inspiration, and recognition
  •  Allows leaders to build strong relationships based on trust, respect, and empathy
  •  Helps leaders establish a positive and inclusive culture that values collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement
  •  Contributes to the overall success and sustainability of an organization

Influence Leadership Theory

Influence leadership theory refers to principles and concepts explaining how leaders can effectively influence and motivate their followers. It focuses on the leader’s ability to inspire, persuade, and guide others toward achieving shared goals. Several theories contribute to the understanding of influence and leadership.

These theories provide frameworks and insights into the processes and dynamics of influence leadership. They help leaders understand how to effectively inspire, persuade, and guide their followers toward common objectives.

In any case, it’s critical to note that leadership is mind-boggling and complex, and no single hypothesis can completely catch the complexities of influencing leadership in all unique circumstances.

Here are a few prominent ones:

  • Transformational Leadership Theory
  •  Charismatic Leadership Theory
  •  Social Exchange Theory
  •  Influence and Persuasion Theories
  •  Path-Goal Theory
  •  Leader-Member Exchange Theory

Tips on How to Effectively Lead by Influence

Influence is a powerful tool in leadership. While some leaders may rely on their position or authority to get things done, authentic leadership inspires and guides others through influence. Hence, these tips to become an effective influence leader.

  • Build strong relationships, take the time to connect with your team members personally, understand their aspirations, and show genuine care for their well-being.
  •  Model the behaviors and values you want to see in your team. Display integrity, transparency, and accountability in your work.
  •  Clearly articulate your vision, goals, and expectations to your team. Listen actively and empathetically to their concerns and ideas.
  •  Paint a compelling future vision, highlighting the benefits and opportunities ahead. Celebrate successes and recognize the contributions of individuals.
  •  Understand and manage your emotions effectively, as well as the feelings of others. Show empathy, adaptability, and resilience.
  •  Encourage collaboration by creating an inclusive and supportive environment.
  •  Offer mentorship, guidance, and support to help them reach their full potential.
  •  Embrace new ideas and perspectives, and be willing to adjust your approach when necessary.
  •  Encourage autonomy and delegate responsibilities appropriately.
  •  Stay updated on industry trends and best practices. By continuously improving yourself, you set an example for others and inspire them to do the same.

Read: Delegative Leadership: Using Delegative Leadership Style to Improve Team Success

What are the Possible Influencing Tactics you should Employ?

Influencing tactics are strategies or techniques used by individuals to persuade, convince, or change the attitudes, behaviors, or decisions of others. You can employ these tactics in various contexts, including leadership, sales, negotiations, and interpersonal relationships.

Using influencing tactics ethically and with respect for others’ autonomy and well-being is essential, and remember that the choice of tactic depends on the situation, the individuals involved, and the desired outcome.

Here are some common influencing tactics:

  • Rational persuasion: This strategy includes using logical arguments, facts, and evidence to convince others. It presents a clear and logical case to support a particular viewpoint, appealing to intellect and reason. It is viable when the primary interest group responds to consistent thinking.
  •  Inspirational appeal: This strategy centers on speaking to the feelings and values of others. It involves motivating people by telling stories, personal anecdotes, or compelling narratives. This tactic helps others see the master plan and embrace a specific strategy.
  •  Consultation: Participation in the decision-making process and soliciting feedback are both aspects of the consultation. People feel empowered and valued when their opinions, ideas, and suggestions are sought.
  •  Teamwork and collaboration: This strategy emphasizes cooperation and collaboration to influence others. People are more likely to be open to new ideas and decisions if a cooperative atmosphere is created.
  •  Exchange: The exchange strategy offers something of value for support or compliance. It could be something intangible, like recognition or opportunities for growth, or something tangible, like financial incentives or promotions.
  •  Legitimacy: To influence others, this strategy uses position, authority, or established rules and regulations. It involves appealing to organizational policies, standards, or regulations or asserting authority.
  •  Coalition building: Building a coalition requires gaining the support of others with power or influence. It uses the power of a group or network to influence decisions or opinions. By shaping unions and acquiring the help of persuasive people, the coalition-building strategy expands the possibilities of accomplishing wanted results.
  •  Personal appeal: To influence other people’s attitudes or actions, this strategy focuses on developing an emotional connection with them. Building rapport involves highlighting connections, interests, or similarities.
  •  Pressure and coercion: Pressure and coercion are influencing strategies that use threats, manipulation, or intimidation to force compliance, despite their less desirable nature. These strategies rely on fear, power dynamics, or imposing consequences for control or compliance. It is essential to remember that these strategies might harm relationships and have adverse long-term effects.

A Typical Example of Influence Leadership

An example of influential leadership is Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was a transformative leader who led India’s nonviolent struggle for independence from British colonial rule. His leadership style and effective tactics significantly mobilized millions and brought social and political change.

Gandhi’s influential leadership is a powerful example of how one person can inspire and lead a nation to achieve a significant transformation.

Here are some critical aspects of Gandhi’s influential leadership:

  • Inspirational vision: Gandhi had a powerful vision of a free and independent India. He communicated this vision to the masses, inspiring them to join the movement and work toward independence. His idea of a nonviolent and just society resonated with people and galvanized their support.
  •  Nonviolent resistance: Gandhi’s use of nonviolent resistance as a strategic tool was instrumental in his influential leadership. He advocated for civil disobedience, boycotts, and peaceful protests as means of challenging oppressive systems. His commitment to nonviolence appealed to the moral conscience of Indians and the international community, earning him widespread admiration and support.
  •  Leading by example: Gandhi led by example, embodying the principles he advocated for. He lived a simple and humble life, wearing traditional Indian clothing and practicing self-discipline. His sacrifices and dedication to the cause inspired others to follow his lead and gift for the greater good.
  •  Effective communication: Gandhi was a skilled communicator who effectively conveyed his messages to diverse audiences. Through speeches, writings, and personal interactions, he was able to articulate complex ideas in a relatable manner. His powerful and persuasive communication style appealed to people’s hearts and minds.
  •  Building alliances and coalitions: Gandhi understood the importance of building partnerships and collaborations to strengthen the movement. He sought to bridge divides and unite diverse groups, including religions, castes, and regions. By forging common ground and uniting people under a shared cause, he created a powerful force for change.
  •  Legacy and impact: Gandhi’s influence extends beyond India’s struggle for independence. His leadership and principles have inspired countless movements and leaders around the world.

FAQs – Influence Leadership

Can anyone become an influential leader?

Yes, practical leadership skills can be developed and improved by anyone. Influence is a skill that can be learned and developed over time, even though some people may naturally possess charisma or communication skills.

Is influential leadership limited to formal leaders?

Formal leaders with designated positions or titles are not the only influential leaders. Regardless of their authority, any member of an organization or community can show influence.

How can leaders develop their influential leadership skills?

Leaders can develop their influential leadership skills through various means, including:
Enhancing communication skills
Building relationships
Seeking feedback
Learning from influential leaders
Practicing ethical influence


Leading by influence is a powerful approach to leadership. You can effectively lead by influence and bring out the best in your team by building relationships, leading by example, communicating effectively, inspiring and motivating others, developing emotional intelligence, fostering collaboration, providing mentorship and support, being adaptable, empowering decision-making, and continuous learning and growing. Remember, authentic leadership is not about authority but about the positive impact you have on the lives of others.


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