Leadership Integrity: The Key to Influencing

Gandhi

As leaders, we have all either been influenced or have influenced others in the course of our work life. Sometimes you intentionally influence others. And at other times, you unknowingly influence them.

You discover your profound impact when the person you influenced comes and tell you how you have made a difference in their lives.

Sometimes, you yourself get influenced and inspired by someone in a very profound way. And it changes your outlook completely.

The question on understanding influence is this:

“What is the primary key factor that helps you influence someone?”

Identifying Your Motive

What is your motive behind influencing? No matter how much you hide or underplay it, sooner or later people will figure it out. Many people have negative motivations for their pursuit of influence.

As yourself these questions to see if your motives are pure:

  • Is your motive superficial?
  • Is your motive to influence monetary?
  • Is your motive to influence personal ego?
  • Is your motive to influence need for power?
  • Does your motive behind influencing something to do with putting someone down?
  • Is your motive to influence plain and simple to prove you are absolutely certainly right?
Or, another way to determine if your motives are really pure, you only  really need one question to find out:

Does your motive to influence have a higher purpose?

Integrity and Purpose

Lets take a look at a great historical freedom fighter and influencer, Mahatma Gandhi . He influenced millions of people of India through his preachings of non-violence. He was instrumental in getting freedom for the nation of India and yet, when it was time to get a power position to lead independent India, he yielded.

He never wanted any of the power position, his only purpose was to get freedom for India.

He didn’t need a title to tell him that he had won: the freedom of India was the win for him.

He had already won when millions of people were following him. So why did people get influenced by Gandhi? Because they saw the integrity. He knew that the number one quotient needed to influence someone is one’s integrity.

Gandhi’s followers saw the higher purpose which was clear with all his actions. His actions and words were all consistent and demonstrated integrity.

Many times, your need for influencing can be different from a higher purpose and it is quite legitimate. However your influencing power in such scenarios is limited. All great people of influence with widespread reach have one thing in common, the integrity and their motive tied to some higher purpose.

Integrity wins you friends and keep them forever

Think about the times where you got influenced by someone at your workplace and what led you to follow that person or be influenced by him or her? What exemplary qualities did you see in that leader? Which of his or her qualities did you want to emulate  and why? Also think about when a leader made a good impression on you and then he or she conducted in a manner that changed your opinion of them negatively. Which of his or her qualities led you to change your opinion and why? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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———————
Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry
She is a consultant, writer and a leader
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Image Sources: n.wikipedia.org

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