This week we continue our look at Influence and its role in Extreme Leadership. Before we go any further though, I think it’s important to revisit the definition of Extreme Leadership:
Extreme Leadership: Selfless, courageous influence that inspires lasting greatness in others.
I want to draw your attention to the specific type of influence that inspires the lasting greatness–it is selfless, and it is courageous.
That type of influence is not only powerful. It is also positive. Courageous, selfless leaders bring positive energy even when it is difficult, as it often is.
Think about it, we are going to be given difficult situations. That is not negotiable. Often those difficult situations are of our own making, but sometimes we are faced with a problem to solve that we had no part in creating. The way we as leaders handle those problems will determine our effectiveness as extreme leaders.
Negative energy is everywhere, it’s highly contagious and it’s easy to get caught up in it. It’s easy to point the finger. It’s easy to join the chorus of complaining that almost always accompanies an obstacle. It is our job as leaders to handle the difficult task of bringing enough positive energy to the table to influence the outcome.
I remember showing up for paving jobs with our crew on really hot summer days. The grumbling and complaining would start, as most sane people dread heavy shoveling in ninety-degree heat in and around 350-degree freshly poured asphalt! I found that as the leader, the more positive energy I could bring, the more I could influence the outcome in a positive direction and when I was able to do that, a situation that seemed downright dreadful would end up having a completely different feel and most certainly a different result. I set them up for success or failure based on the level of energy I brought to the situation.
Countering the momentum of negative energy is an incredibly difficult task and it takes time to develop that skill set as a leader. Think of a rocket launch. An enormous amount of fuel and energy is used to break the rocket free of Earth’s gravitational pull and the majority of that is used at the very beginning, just to get off the ground! Negative energy is like gravity–it’s always there and it is difficult to overcome. But if we can bring enough positive fuel (energy) to break through, eventually the momentum will shift and we’ll find the going much easier.Influence the outcome of problems by bringing a sufficient level of positive energy. Click To Tweet
Remember this as you navigate the challenges you face over the next few days, weeks and months. Start with the problems closest to you. What can you do to raise your positive energy level to a point that it influences the outcome? What can you do to solve a problem that you know you didn’t create? This is the big one. Being a leader who helps others solve problems that aren’t yours is a sure way to gain great influence.
In fact of the fastest ways to gain influence is through our ability to solve problems, and one of the best ways to influence the outcome of those problems is by bringing a sufficient level of positive energy.
Energy effects outcome!