(#158) Effective Leadership Embodies Influence Over Control

“We can’t practice compassion with other people
if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.”
-Brené Brown-

In last week’s post, I listed my top five attributes for effective leadership.  At the top of the list, I had placed the ability to build relationships.  Without the talent to place people over paper/procedure, I have found that a leader’s authority is limited.  He or she might have organizational power (that conferred by an organizational chart and title) but generally lacks authority (true influence) with his or her team.

Image: renjith krishnan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: renjith krishnan/
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My June issue of Inc. magazine arrived today and carries the cover story “7 Traits of True Leaders: Between Venus and Mars.” Leigh Buchanan maintains that business leadership has evolved from the “age of autocracy” through the “age of empowerment” to, now, the “age of nurture.”  The qualities Buchanan found to embody today’s successful leaders all connect with the ability to build relationships:

  1. Empathy
  2. Vulnerability
  3. Humility
  4. Inclusiveness
  5. Generosity
  6. Balance
  7. Patience

The effective leaders, it appears, are quite simply effective people. Period.  They believe in themselves. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else.”

Our effective leaders know how to influence rather than control others. They have a sense of balance when the world around appears to be devolving into all sorts of chaos.  The effective leaders embrace the seven qualities above.

Researcher Brené Brown reminds us that, “We can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.”  How true.

I’ll close with Professor Brown’s TED talk from 2010 that has to date drawn more than 9.5 million views.  There is a lesson here for not only the leaders amongst us, but all of us who want a fuller, richer, and more compassionate life.


Video recommendation for the week:


Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!

On June 5, I will offer a special encore edition of my personal well-being webinar.  Take advantage of the special summer discount registration rate! Click here to register now for “Five Steps to Build Habits of Well-being and Balance.”  Or go to my website for registration information. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please share it (and any of the archived posts on this site) along to friends and colleagues. You also can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli).  If you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment. Make it a wonderful week!

 ©2013. Steve Piscitelli

8 Responses to (#158) Effective Leadership Embodies Influence Over Control

  1. What a very introspective post….thanks for sharing and I have seen that TED talk and it is the BOMB!

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