Tue, 21 August 2018
Success in the innovation game requires strong innovation leadership. But there is confusion about what defines leadership. To understand leadership, we need to boil it down to the essence – what it is and what it isn’t. We need to identify a key leadership skill and determine how this skill can elicit success. There are leaders who stand out in my mind. They have had an effect on me through my career and life. They have one common leadership skill: influence.
What It’s Not
I’ve had the title of Chief Technology Officer at HP. Now I have the title of CEO leading 200 bright and motivated people. But a title does not make a leader. Some may think leadership is directing people in what to do. It’s assigning tasks, then watching from on high while others do the work. That is not leadership. There are those who confuse leadership with micromanagement. They expect their managers to clear every decision with them before they make it. That is not leadership. How do you distinguish true leaders from managers, supervisors or those who just have control?
Essence of Leadership
Leadership is about inspiring others. It’s about motivating others to achieve success beyond what they could’ve ever imagined. One leader who’s inspired me is Bob Davis. He hired me in my first real job and became my mentor. He modeled leadership and I was drawn to the projects and teams he led. When I considered what made Bob different from others in management, it came down to leadership skills. His skills in leadership led to success. What made him stand out was his ability to influence.
Leadership isn’t just for managers. It’s essential to any team. You need leadership skills when you are a team contributor, self-leading, and when there is no clear person in charge. That is why leadership is crucial in innovation. Innovation leadership drives innovation from ideas on a whiteboard or in a notebook to something mind-blowing. How do you hone the skills of innovation leadership? Let’s examine one key skill.
Influence is the key skill in innovation leadership.
Two definitions of influence are
Attributes of Influence
There are three attributes of influence that leaders have.
How to Influence for Success
Influence is core to innovation leadership. Those who have the ability to elicit positive change have mastered the skill of influence. How can you influence others? It’s a non-obvious answer. The most powerful influence you can have is often not trying to influence.
How to exert influence without authority?
Step One: Understand those you want to influence.
Step Two: Active listening.
Step Three: Ask questions.
Innovation needs innovation leadership and influence is the key to success.
Five Minutes to New Ideas is now available as a standalone show. It’s designed for the creative mind looking for that next great idea. Listen on Apple iTunes, Spotify or at PhilMckinney.com.
Direct download: Innovation_Leadership_Using_Influence_for_Success_S14_Ep24.mp3
Category:Past Shows -- posted at: 6:46am PDT