We all have influence. We are able to positively impact, inspire, and ignite others into action, into leadership, no matter what we do, where we work, or what type of personality we have. We have the power and the responsibility to use our gifts and talents, our purpose, to move others into action and leadership.
After all, we grow in our leadership through the leaders we are mentoring.
We must use our influence to create trust among others. We need to keep our eyes and ears open to identifying and mentoring others into leading. And we do this by reaching out, by getting to know others and their stories—their joy, their pain, their humanity.
Creating a multiplying effect. Both in the marketplace as well as in the nonprofit sector, the train-the-trainer model is used to help create capacity, sustainability, and long-term change and impact. The secret to expanding and multiplying leadership and change is to give those around us the encouragement, empowerment, permission, and ownership to advance their purpose, to influence, to lead.
As catalysts for a purpose-driven leadership, our focus and efforts should be on trusting, equipping, and mobilizing others into identifying, understanding, activating their own purpose and desire to lead.
We can do this by:
- Being knowledgeable and committed to influencing those in our own life – family, friends, colleagues, coworkers, etc.
- Using our gifts and talents in tangible ways, while allowing and acknowledging others in doing so as well.
- Living out our gifts and talents (outside of our comfort zone) into the world.
- Recognizing our weaknesses and investing time and resources in our own development, growth, and learning.
- Saying “yes” more to others and becoming a “permission giver.”
Giving permission is the most effective way of leading. Saying “yes” and let others do, in other words delegating, seems easier than what it really is. Giving permission, letting go, and passing over the authority to those around us is not losing our own vision, or capacity to influence and lead.
Saying “yes” and giving permission to those around us has to do with developing, growing, and mentoring others while activating, growing, and strengthening our own purpose and leadership—at work, with our families, our communities, and the world at large.
According to Dave Ferguson, the author of the “Five Essential Practices to Hero Making,” there are six levels for saying “yes” and giving permission:
- Level 1: Watch what I do, and then let’s talk about it.
- Level 2: Let’s together figure out a plan for what you should do.
- Level 3: Propose a plan for what I should do, and let’s talk about it.
- Level 4: Let me know your plan for what you should do, but wait for my feedback.
- Level 5: You should handle it completely, and then let me know what you did.
- Level 6: You should handle it completely, and there is no need to report back to me.
Putting theory into practice. Ready for this challenge? Follow the above guidelines. Give someone you work with, volunteer, or serve with an assignment and the level of permission you are giving. Then ask them to repeat it back to you, including the level of permission received. Encourage them to go do it. Wait and see what happens. Run with this new approach several times. Repeat. Reflect. I’d love for you to share what you experience.