Seven strategies for expanding your influence in uncertain times

Steel balls striking others

This is an excerpt of an article published in the August 2020 issue of Realizing Leadership Magazine with the author’s permission.

By David O’Brien

Read Part 1  Will You Choose Fear or Opportunity?

Although no one can accurately predict how the pandemic will play out later this year or next, conventional wisdom tells us that continued uncertainty on a scale few have witnessed will likely be the norm. Our ability to navigate these uncharted waters may very well be the impetus that defines the new normal for many years to come.

1. Consider these three questions:

A. Who am I as a leader?

B. What do I want to be known for as a leader?

C. What would it take to make 2020 my best leadership year ever? Also identify one development opportunity related to your pursuit of leadership excellence and map out a series of small, doable steps that you will take between now and year-end.

2. Take the time to consider what it is you stand for as a leader and how that translates in terms of your core values. Identify your top five work and life values and consider how you live and demonstrate these in every role you play. Initiate a conversation with your peer group, trusted mentor or coach about the characteristics that embody leadership integrity and explore how those characteristics are linked to your top five values.

3. Invest the time to consider your leadership motivations and intentions and how they translate into what you expect from your team as well as what you expect of yourself as a leader.

4. Take the time to consider how your team and other stakeholders would describe your attitude. Also consider what impact your attitude has on engaging and motivating your team. Map out a series of small steps you can take between now and year-end to become more mindful about your attitude and the impact it has on helping your team to be successful.

5. Consider these three questions:

A. How do I achieve congruence between my values and my behavior?

B. What value does congruence create for me and my team?

C. Am I consciously role-modeling the behaviors I wish to see from others?

6. Make the time to consider how you use your influence and ultimately, what impact it has on your team, your success, and your reputation.

7. Invest three minutes to complete the free Leadership Influence Survey on the WorkChoice Solutions website.

David A. O’Brien is president of WorkChoice Solutions, a trusted provider of leadership and team effectiveness training, coaching, and consulting services. He works with a wide range of corporate, nonprofit, and public sector clients to help bring about sustainable improvements in organizational effectiveness. To learn more, please visit or contact David at 860.242.1070.


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