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Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others by Tacy M. Byham, Richard S. Wellins

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Your First Leadership Job

imgMastery and Leadership Skills20 InfluenceLook Up, Down, and Across

Pre:Think

Think about the people in your life who have influenced you to take a risk. It might be someone you know, like a teacher who encouraged you to try a new course or discipline. Or it might be a person—like a political, religious, or community leader—whose life story inspired you to join a cause you believed in. What got you to take the leap?

Inspiration can be an exhilarating feeling.

Especially when it takes life or work in exciting new directions. You might feel that part of your job is to inspire people around you to embrace new ideas and new business prospects when they arise. And that is certainly true. But we think about the mechanism behind that inspiration in a very precise way. We call it influence, which is a skill that can be learned, measured, and applied in your daily life. We define influence as moving people toward a commitment that supports a specific business outcome. Easy to define? Yes. Easy to do? Not always. But today, more than ever, it's an essential skill.

We define influence as moving people toward a commitment that supports a specific business outcome.

Consider these examples:

  • A pharmaceutical sales rep wants to influence physicians to flag medical records for their breast cancer research drug.
  • A lead engineer needs the commitment of people, resources, ...

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