Becoming an Influential Leader: 5 Qualities to Develop

Tom Popomaronis | July 21, 2020

An influential leader doesn’t resort to force or fear in order to motivate subordinates and get results. Great leaders instead motive and inspire employees through their own actions. Being an influential leader isn’t reserved for the lucky few born with indefinable qualities, however; anyone can become a better leader through learning and practice. Here are five qualities every influential leader shares:

1. Make Working Worthwhile

It’s hard to show up every day to work that feels pointless. One of a leader’s most important qualities is being able to give their organization and their employees a sense of direction. Putting together a clear vision for the company is critical, and helping your employees find personal and professional purpose in their work is essential. The leader who can do these is bound to become influential at work.

2. The Ability to Persuade

Persuading doesn’t involve threatening, bribing, or begging; a true leader knows how to reach into a person’s very soul and motivates by offering a person what is actually important to them. Some of the best leaders rarely criticize their employees, but rather give praise, recognition, and advice to help inspire employees to reach new heights of excellence.

3. Actively Listen

Great leaders may not always be great orators, but they all share the ability to listen. They hear others’ concerns, and when they speak, they address those concerns clearly and concisely. Influential leaders listen much more than they speak.

4. Develop Strong Relationships

Building strong interpersonal relationships is a must-have quality for influential leaders. People won’t follow someone they don’t feel a strong connection to, and the best leaders make each person feel important and cared for, no matter their background, race, or gender.

5. Communicate Clearly & Concisely

Finally, leaders don’t jumble their vision with highly technical or vague language. Leaders take the facts and condense them into a powerful message that they then communicate clearly and passionately to their employees.

If it was easy to be a great leader, there would be a lot more of them. Becoming an influential leader isn’t impossible though; it takes hard work and a lifetime of dedication, but learning and practicing these five qualities is a good way to start that will certainly help improve anyone’s leadership abilities.

Tom Popomaronis
EVP, Innovation
Tom is a serial entrepreneur, product development expert, and content management strategist. Every hour of every day (perhaps too many hours) he focuses on strategies for our Executive Leadership Branding clients to build a powerful and credible online reputation.