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Expanding your influence, guiding your company to greater success, and helping those you lead to do the same - is not just about what you know, but what you “do” with that knowledge.

Here are 8 lessons in leadership to help you move forward with deliberate action and expand your influence.

1.  Always Look for New Opportunities

It’s not experience, but rather opportunity that is key to success. Begin to open your eyes and look for the opportunities around you others may not see. If you grow complacent, and only notice what’s in front of you, your mindset becomes stagnate. Instead, identify those areas that can be improved – such as relationships, culture, networking, or how to improve yourself. Your aim should be to manage opportunities before they manage you.

2. Create a Strategy for Change

Every leader needs a strategy for change and a ‘change management strategy’ is the ultimate form of leadership accountability. When you have a strategy in place you get to carefully think about every move you make and what you need to do as a leader to minimise risk and maximise reward. Adopt a proactive approach and identify patterns of change so you are prepared to manage them head-on.

3.  Develop an Entrepreneurial Attitude

Entrepreneurship isn’t just a buzz word for start-ups any longer; it’s a way of life. What’s more, you don’t need to be an “entrepreneur” to have an entrepreneurial attitude. 

An entrepreneurial attitude is one that focuses on constant renewal and reinvention of yourself as a leader. Without it, a business is unable to grow and innovate during uncertain times. 

Entrepreneurial thinking adopted by the whole organisation is also beneficial. Take Google, for example. They’re leaders in their market who continually innovate and test ideas that are born from individuals across the entire organisation – regardless of their position or rank.

To begin inviting an entrepreneurial attitude into your company, look at bringing in new talent, adopting new perspectives and implementing new resources.

4. Refresh and Take Action

Everyone has great ideas, yet it is rare for everyone to act upon them. Great leadership is all about execution. Excellent leaders keep themselves refreshed with new knowledge, skill-sets and aptitudes - but ultimately take action and implement what they’ve learned.

Time is your most valuable asset, therefore it’s up to you to learn how to maximise it. Refresh your thinking and always implement what you learn. 

Just like an elite athlete or coach always adjusts and is in constant search of elevating their game, you as a leader should also do the same.  

5.  Trust Yourself

How many times does your intuition urge you to take action but you ignore it? Instead, you wait for others around you to take calculated risks, that you’re hesitant to take yourself.

When you fail to trust yourself, you’re likely to miss out on opportunities that create impact and influence. You’re also irresponsibly leading the people and the organisation that you serve.

6.  Turn Adversity into Opportunity

How you manage adversity shapes the way others see you as a true leader. Leaders are faced with adversity almost every day. However, it’s how you confront and navigate through these challenges that define your career.

When you see adversity through a lens of opportunity, it gives you a powerful competitive advantage.

7.  Give without Expectation

An influential and authentic leader has the best interests of others at heart, at all times. It is your responsibility to inspire and unite your people – and when you do so, your level of influence will expand.

Leadership is about lifting those up around you. Helping them to improve and grow both personally and professionally. Ultimately your role as a leader is about serving the needs of your people and the company at large. 

8.  Manage Your Network

Your influence as a leader is also enhanced by your network.

Find ways to strengthen your personal and professional network by becoming more selective about who enters into your domain. Consider what value each person contributes towards making you a better person and more effective leader. Ask, how do they influence and shape the ways I think, act and innovate? Do the people in your network enhance your strengths or highlight your weaknesses? Steer clear of people who bring you down or sabotage your leadership journey.

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