Increasing your influence Level

What is Africa’s biggest problem? If you are thinking its poverty you are wrong. What is Nigeria’s biggest problem? If you are thinking its corruption, once again you are very wrong. You see most of those stuffs you might be thinking about are not the real problems we have. They are products of it. And like someone said, if you don’t like the mangoes a mango tree in your yard is producing, rather than pluck off all the mangoes, get rid of the tree.

Quite frankly, Africa has a leadership problem. Unlucky the land whose king is a young pup – Eccl 10:16 (MSG). In other words, poor leadership often leads to calamitous consequences for a nation or people.

ERFA-Logo-no-backgroundWe often debate why the youths today aren’t allowed to take active part in governance in this part of the world. Fixed in this article is a picture of former Nigerian head of state, General Yakubu Gowon exchanging a handshake with young Justin Trudeau in the 70’s. Today Justin is Canada’s Prime minister.  But from the picture, Gowon was quite young then; but his fellows from that generation have remained in power because we have a cultural problem that attaches more importance to positions and titles than to leadership via influence. This is proved in the recent drama that happened in the Nigerian Soccer team. See my post about it here

we have a cultural problem that attaches more importance to positions and titles than to real leadership

So moving forward, how do we change this? Starting with you and I, we need to start modeling the LWT principle. To do that, we need to build influence.

There are two broad routes to building influence. The first is respect and the other is likability. Which of the two is more important? Perhaps none. The good news is that, unlike what many people may want you to think, you don’t have to substitute one for the other. You don’t have to sacrifice being liked for respect and vice versa.

Neither is gotten on a platter of gold. You’ve got to earn being respected and being liked.

4 ways of earning respect and building influence thereby are

  1. Respect others: Respect is reciprocal. This is so true. Some call it the yellow rule of life. Respect is like a two way street, it usually flows in both direction. So wherever it seems like respect is lacking, you open up a way for it by generously giving it to others and it will make sure it finds its way back to you. So have good manners, say thank you, don’t use curse words, value people’s personalities, choices and opinions.

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    photo credit: Google
  2. Respect yourself: Quite honestly, people won’t treat you any better than you treat yourself. Likewise, you are not capable of treating people any better than you treat yourself. So before you can truly respect others, you’ve got to have some respect for yourself. So value yourself; celebrate yourself. Funny thing is that self-respect isn’t earned, it is deserved. Also, it is a choice. choose it because you deserve to be respected.
  3. Exhibit Integrity: Integrity is a social capital. Basically it means you being true to your words; being somebody people can vouch for. This isn’t so hard to be. Its as simple as not promising what you can’t deliver and you delivering whatever you promise. If that is hard, then don’t make promises. Simple!
  4. Achieve Greatness: This is key. Once you are a person people can identify with success, they won’t find it hard to pay you respect. The point is, for every success you achieve, every victory you get, every breakthrough you make, you earn the right to people’s respect. They owe it to you and in most cases, they wont be able to help but respect you. The only other option they have is to hate and that will age them faster. That’s a greater loss than paying respect to who it is due.
self-respect isn’t earned, it is deserved. Also, it is a choice. choose it because you deserve to be respected.

So in this link you’d find the other part to this post. They are 4 things that will get you to be liked and thereby build influence. I hope you find time to read it too.

Be great

Afolabi Soaga

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Oliseh, Enyeama and Captainship

The recent drama that ensued between the new Nigerian soccer team head coach, Sunday Oliseh, and the ex-captain of the team, Vincent Enyeama, who also announced his retirement afterwards, is nothing short of epic as far as I’m concerned. One can create a multiple award winning movie out of it but then, I’d just stick to making this article around it.

To Summarize the whole story from at least one party’s point of view, the new coach wanted a new team captain because he believes that’s what works best for him. The then present captain, who also is the most experienced and capped member of the team didn’t like the idea. He wanted to remain captain. Conflict arose and someone had to leave the team for the other to remain. end of story

One can understand the ex-captain’s position a little bit. Being stripped off the captain band after committing no offense could be a little hard to deal with. Nevertheless, its no reason to cause drama or react aggressively.

It all boils down to one thing. Misplaced values.OLISEH-ENYEAMA

Here is what I mean.  There is a philosophy called the LWT. LWT stands for Lead Without a Title. The center idea around this philosophy is that you don’t need a title or a position to lead a group of people.  That means you can lead from wherever level or position you are in any unit od society you find yourself.

To do this however, one would have to have influence. Influence is the ability to sway a person or group of person’s thoughts, beliefs, and actions towards achieving a goal. According to Leadership expert John C Maxwell, Leadership is influence (and consequently, influence is leadership).

There are two routes to ‘affecting’ people’s decision and actions. One is through authority/position/title. The other is through influence and charisma. Our society today places more value on the former than the later. That’s why we have people jostling hard and doing everything possible to get into positions without realizing that in leadership, authority without influence will fail, while influence without authority will succeed; The reason why the same old people who have led our country in the yesteryears are still the same people running for political positions today. Its because we think that there can be no leadership without a title. We think that we lose leadership and relevance once we lose position. This is false.

In leadership, authority without influence will fail, while influence without authority will succeed

They say musicians don’t retire; they only stop singing when there is no more music in them. By reason of being an ex-captain, and the team’s most capped player; I have no doubt about the fact that Enyeama had a level of influence in that soccer team that he could have leveraged on. But because he valued the position than his influence, he felt he just had to hold on to it. That of course has caused him an early retirement despite he still having a lot of music in him.

We must learn to have our values in order and give more importance to what is more important. Young men and women should not necessarily kill themselves over positions and titles which will not always go round, when they can spend that time and effort building influence. Influence can fetch you more authority and positions than positions can fetch you influence. Often time, other people decide what positions we are picked for, but no one can place a limit to what extent of influence you can build and have.

Influence can fetch you more authority and positions than positions can fetch you influence

Be Great!

Afolabi Soaga

PS: You can learn all about the LWT principle from robin sharma’s book -“the leader without a title”

Image Source: Google