Is there a reason why some leaders always tend to succeed, but others always tend to fail? Although we’d like to point to a certain theory of leadership or a certain skill set, the fact is that the only magical combination that exists is how a leader is able to effectively implement their skill set with their natural talents. At the core of all leadership styles, however, is influence. A leader must be influential in order to be successful.
That’s where the influence theory of leadership comes into play. By knowing how people are influenced, a leader can become more influential through knowledge and training more than a natural talent for leadership.
What Influences the Modern Person?
We live in an information age. Information has more value to the average person than any tangible asset. When you think about it, the daily quest for joy in every life comes from the pursuit of knowledge. Religious people will read holy books for knowledge. Scientists and inventors will experiment for knowledge. Internet marketers read content online for knowledge.
Not just any information will do. Information that comes from a proven expert will have more value than anything else. This is the core of the influence theory of leadership. By being able to provide expertise that no one else can provide, a leader can become influential.
Just having knowledge to share isn’t good enough today, however, because everyone shares information. What a leader must do with their knowledge is make it engaging and entertaining. By adding a level of charm and personal appeal that is authentic, a leader has the ability to create a higher level of influence in their direct contact circles.
Transactional Leadership Is Based on Influence
Sometimes it isn’t the leader’s influence at all that can get a team to do great things. Sometimes the only motivation that a worker needs is a reward that they can earn for a job well done. Whenever someone earns a paycheck for the work that they do, a transactional leadership incident occurs. This means that almost every employed worker today is benefiting from the influential theory of leadership in some way.
Going beyond the paycheck, any time there are rewards that can be earned for work that is completed, a transactional leadership incident is taking place and influence is being used as motivation. Vacation days and health care insurance can be just as influential as a paycheck for a reward. Sometimes even something as simple as a “Thank you” from a supervisor can create a positive transactional incident.
The reason why this theory of leadership is used so often is that it works very effectively. Even leading by example is a method of influence that can bring about a higher level of success. This means that every leader needs to know the basics of this leadership theory in order to maximize their success.