“Leadership Influence. How you get it, use it and lose it.”

Leadership influence is gained through building relational equity. This equity is used for many things, but primarily for persuading people to pursue a new goal, develop additional skills, or launch into an unknown future.

You have the most influence after someone thanks you. Great leaders seldom miss those opportunities. Here are seven principles of persuasive influence:

First, like-a-bility. If you show genuine concern for someone else’s best interest and find something in common, the more likely they will say yes.

Second, reciprocity. People most of the time do for others who do for them. If you help them, they help you. Great leaders know the difference between backslapping and sincere compliments.

Third, social acceptance. People usually follow willingly the leadership of those who are similar, share common experiences, or are passionate about the same values.

Fourth, commitment and consistency. People want to be seen as consistent, at least in public. Keeping your word and finishing what you start are values you must have to gain influence.

Fifth, authority. People usually defer to competency and experience, regardless of position or title. Most underestimate their own value. But great leaders find a way to change their self-impressions and perspective.

Sixth, scarcity. People value things that are not readily available, the law of supply and demand. What makes you different, not always better, creates the demand for YOU.

Seventh, write it down. What people say is always important to them, if for no one else. Chronicle those persuasive moments because they define relationships and future persuasive success. In my world, if it’s not recorded or written, it doesn’t exist.

Your effectiveness as an influential leader comes by appealing to deeply rooted emotional responses, not by “selling” what people don’t want, need, or see as having value. That’s called manipulation, only used by poor leaders.

You may have a title and rank high on the top of the flow chart. That may cause people to obey your leadership commands out of fear, but only respect for your leadership competency generates influence. Do you want salutes or results?