In surveys of executives, influence is usually cited as one of the most important skill sets for leaders. Leaders are encouraged to learn effective communication and influence skills and use them in a conscious and tactical way to achieve specific objectives. However, in some organizations, the open use of influence is seldom seen and rarely encouraged. Instead, leaders attempt to achieve results either through the direct use of power or through manipulation…

A recent Gartner study concluded that there were three qualities that characterized especially effective leaders – qualities that only one in four respondents reported were true of their managers. The three qualities are:

Authenticity; leaders were open about their thoughts and feelings
Empathy; leaders were tuned in to and interested in the experience, needs, and interests of those who report to them
Adaptability; leaders were flexible in responding to those needs and interests.

Leaders with these qualities, the report states, contributed to better engagement, performance, and retention of their team members.

A few years ago, author Connie Cass cited an Associated Press poll showing that nearly two-thirds of the Americans in their sample had low trust in others – compared to only one-third in a similar poll forty years earlier. It’s easy to blame this on increasing urbanization, on the media’s “if it bleeds, it leads” approach to informing us about the world, on greater use of the internet with fewer face-to-face social interactions, or perhaps the increasing rancor of our politics has “tribalized” our society and set us against one another.

…So what are the images of the so-called “new leadership”? According to the article, “…And now, with remote and knowledge work limiting the usefulness of other sources of power, informational influence is becoming an increasingly important power.” The new leadership is founded on informational influence!

Nelson Soken, Ph.D., Chief Innovation Strategist (reprinted from the Barnes & Conti Holiday Newsletter, December 2021) As we close another year and continue to navigate through the pandemic and, we hope, in the New Year move toward the endemic phase, …

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