Creating a Platform for Influence
One of your primary functions as a leader is to develop those leaders around you, helping them grow in their capacity to contribute to the mission. The ability to influence and help them grow is built upon the foundation of trust in the relationship that you have with them. But, what do you do when you do not have that kind of history with them–when there is no real relationship established?
In a recent conversation with Paul Stanley, former International VP of The Navigators, we discussed how to address this challenge. Below are some of our practical ideas on how to build this kind of relationship, especially one that is geographically distant from you, so that you can help them grow and develop.
- The first step is to begin to create trust
- Remember, the depth of your relationship will determine the impact of your influence
- You as their leader and mentor, want to be viewed as a ‘value-added’ asset to their life and leadership
- Mutual vulnerability will create a growing bond of trust, with you, their supervisor, initiating the self-disclosure and openness
- Mutual confidentiality must be assured, for any ‘leakage’ will quickly destroy any trust that has been built
- Seek to create a sense where they know that you are in it with them – we are in it together to help them succeed
- Join their team in spirit, becoming their fan and champion
- Help them see a bigger vision for their life and future contribution beyond their current role
- Help them believe that their future destiny is more than what they can currently ‘see’
- Early on in the relationship, they must feel practically helped in their current responsibility
- Identify 2 or 3 leverage points for them to focus on in the next 1-2 years that will truly help them make progress and bring change to their mission
- Help them clarify their responsibilities before God and the organization that they are to steward
- Help them shape the stewardship of these responsibilities, seeking to prioritize them into what is most strategic at this time
- Help them identify 3-4 key responsibilities to focus on for the next 1-2 years
- Pray for them and with them over these 3-4 key responsibilities
- Talk with them regularly about progress in these 3-4 items
- Help them grow in confidence as a leader
- Affirm, encourage, advocate for, and champion them
- Help them identify certain leadership principles that they are already doing that models good leadership
- Ken Blanchard reminds us to, “Find somebody doing something right and tell them about it.”
- Help them grow in self-awareness as a leader
- What are their personal strengths and weaknesses as a leader
- Help them learn how to lead from their strengths and staff to their weaknesses
- As you supervise and mentor them, adopt the attitude of asking, not telling!
- Lead with questions, not answers!
- Open the bible together and pray together on a regular basis