Authority Doesn’t Mean Much Without Influence

Beth Miller |

One of the definitions of a “leader” in Webster’s Dictionary is “a person who has commanding authority or influence.”  I would argue that in the 21st century it’s all about influence, not authority. If a leader only has authority and is unable to influence others, then his leadership will be short-lived.

Think about those leaders in your organization, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, who may not have the title of VP, Director, or Manager, yet they have followers because of their influence with others. These are the people others listen to and respect but don’t have the title providing them with the authority to lead.

So what if you’re a leader with authority? You’ve got the title – how do you know whether or not you have influence with the people you are leading? And if you don’t have influence, can you build it?

I am interested in your thoughts and suggestions.

Image Credit: The Stock Exchange ( User: shrubby

Beth Miller

Beth Miller

Beth Armknecht Miller’s passion for learning, and dedication to helping others, are strands woven throughout her distinguished career, which continue to guide her work with Executive Velocity, a top talent and leadership development advisory firm. As a trusted executive consultant, Vistage Chair, and committed volunteer, Beth holds herself to a rigorous standard of excellence, and she encourages her clients to do the same when pursuing their goals.

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