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Successful Leadership Transitions: Self-coaching Tool #2: Influence

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If you are a “next level” leader who is rising up into a role with higher levels of leadership responsibility, you must adopt new ways of thinking and acting, and more important, let go of old ways. This is second in a series describing 6 common pitfalls and key practices every emergent leader must pick up to cement their success based on best practices rolled into a framework called Rise Up™ Leadership Transitions.

RISE UP™:  Rethink.  Influence.  Stretch.  Evaluate. Unleash. Prioritize.

Common Pitfall: 

Neglect to create an effective communication strategy to influence others and gain followership


Loss of credibility; resistance, confusion, inefficiencies, mistakes, damaged relationships, poor first impression

Rise Up™ Strategy: 

Influence action through clear and compelling communication

There is arguably no acumen more critical to a leader’s effectiveness than one’s ability to build and exert influence in the organization.  There are many facets to understanding influence.  To be influential is to be powerful, be a clear and compelling communicator, an effective listener, and have a compelling vision others can get excited about joining up with you to work on.

9 strategies focused on power and influence to build into your transition plan.

  1. Identify the stakeholders with whom it is most critical and urgent for you to build relationships and influence immediately. Request 1:1 meeting time with those stakeholders; utilize a consistent set of questions to facilitate the dialogue to understand expectations and priorities of your team, peers, customers & other key stakeholders, and establish foundation for strong, collaborative relationships.

  2. Do your homework to understand the power and influence your role has had previously, and most importantly – what your boss & senior leadership expects your role to have influence over going forward. What is your scope of influence – both directly and indirectly?

  3. What types of decisions are you expected to be involved in? On which decisions are you the final decision maker?

  4. In what ways has the power of your role been perceived to have been under-used or over-used previously?

  5. What stakeholders will you need to invest significant time in building new relationships with?

  6. Take a good look at your personal style: would your key stakeholders see you as someone who demonstrates confidence & “presence”? Do you look like a leader in your personal appearance and in a way that aligns with the organizational culture?

  7. To communicate what you intend to communicate, manage your presence at least as much as the content of your message. You can’t just say you’re excited; they need to see it and hear it.

  8. Find frequent and different opportunities to repeat your “case for change” message. Deliver this message through both formal and informal channels.

  9. After a few months in your new role, seek feedback about how your email writing style is working for others or could be improved?  

Don't Sink or Swim--Download the RiseUp™ Free Expert Guide on Leadership Transitions

Don’t succumb to sink or swim, go it alone transitions.  If you are sponsoring a transitioning leader, or are rising to a new leadership role yourself, I invite you to download this free self-coaching expert guide to step you through building a strategy for activating these 6 transition accelerators. 


Check out these blog posts to create successful leadership transitions for you and your company!

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