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Honing Influence to Build Leadership Skills
For years we at FlashPoint have been talking about the importance of leaders – and specifically emerging leaders – to not wait until they have a title to exercise their leadership. In fact, even if you HAVE a managerial position, your ability to lead has much less to do with a title than it does with how you exercise influence.
That’s one of the reasons why we’ve been talking about The Cross-Functional Influence Playbook by Susan Z. Finerty. This "workbook" encourages leaders and soon-to-be leaders to think about their leadership ability as the influence they can exercise, instead of their title or position.
The book is divided into four parts:
Part One: Learning to Influence
This part of the book introduces the Influence Model and the components to consider when you want to expand your influence, both in a "proactive" way (building skills for the long-term) and "in the moment" so that you can respond and influence when more spontaneous and unexpected interactions occur.
Part Two: Worksheet and Assessments
This part is exactly as it sounds. It focuses on allowing the leader to reflect and consider how they are currently influencing - and how they can exercise their influence - by intentionally thinking through the people and situations that are opportunities for influence expansion.
Part Three: The Influence Planner
This section helps leaders to think about a specific influence opportunity. I had the privilege recently of facilitating a workshop around this content and every single leader came prepared with a challenge or scenario that they had; using this Influence Planner helped those leaders think about the actions they could take to expand their circle of influence in that situation.
Part Four: The Influence Journal
The final section is a tool that helps leaders identify their progress, their questions, their successes and challenges. The workshop mentioned above was not the end of the "Influence Summit"; rather, the leaders continued their work and development around influence throughout the year, and this planner helped them to journal their actions and results.
This book can certainly be used by groups - as defined above - but it is also a great leadership resource for anyone that wants to expand their circle of influence in a work or personal environment. As Susan Finerty says, "Influence Is How Things Get Done" and this book helps readers to get even more done than they thought they could.
If you’re interested in building your influence, download our worksheet with questions and tips to help you reflect on how you influence others.