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The Importance of Influence in Leadership

Bringing a team together to achieve a particular goal requires a valuable set of leadership skills. An important aspect of becoming an influential leader is having the dynamic skills to meet the needs of your employees. Genuine understanding, compassion, motivation and intellectual stimulation should all flow from the leaders to their employees. When people see and feel that their leaders are genuinely passionate and driven, a leader can become respected, admired and trusted. Leadership comes with several new challenges and considerations that were not previously considered before undertaking a managerial role. Managers are not only looking after their own workload, but also identifying a new framework to engage with their employees. A great method of gaining confidence, power and influence in leadership is seeking out a mentor and learning from successful leaders. Guidance begins with valuing strong communication strategies, confidence, transparency, active listening and building trust. Becoming a leader who influences those around them through motivational and inspirational strategies rather than negative and transactional methods will see stronger results and build better relationships.  


Learning lessons from influential leaders

Each of the following leaders understand the importance of strength in communication, transparency and inclusion. By building communities based on individual and personal goals, they have been able to build and shape others through their positive influence. Each community holds a space where people can speak openly, learn and develop their personal skillsets to exceed. These examples demonstrate that leadership is not defined by a goal, but through trust – to make an impact, there needs to be a willingness to work one-on-one, give guidance and show empathy. Depending on each person’s situation, leaders hold accountability in developing their strategies around their target, because without giving practical advice and goals, there can’t be mutual understanding.


Jim Kwik – Leadership & Brain Coach

A leader who learned to transform his journey into an opportunity and guide those around him, Jim Kwik is a well-established brain coach who works closely with other leaders. Jim has developed a method of teaching others to expand their performance, memory and communication in order to enhance their mind. After experiencing a childhood injury that left him with learning difficulties, Jim Kwik transformed his experience and developed new and improved ways of learning. This instilled a deep passion that has driven Jim’s career to lead others to activate their own ‘brainpower’, rewrite neurological patterns and create their own intelligence. He has become an influential thought leader to students, CEOs and companies around the world. This personal experience with learning has allowed his followers to believe his message, build a powerful voice and establish influential leadership in their field.


Gary Vaynerchuk – Media and Marketing Entrepreneur

Holding a strong sense of belief in himself and the projects he works on, Gary Vaynerchuk leads with passion. Elevating his family’s business into a multi-million-dollar wine brand, he achieved great success within a few years of finishing his tertiary education. Gary has become a public speaker, media personality and entrepreneur through teaching other business leaders to take action. Becoming an influential leader means being authentic, trusting yourself and those around you to perform. Gary has been passionate about his projects and that spirit has positively affected those around him. He understands that influential leaders need to support a positive business culture and genuinely believe in their product – regardless of the industry. He practices influence leadership through co-operation and motivation.

“As a manager, your first job is to practice humility before anything else. Work for the people on your team. Once you make that mental shift, it’s fascinating how many things just flow from there.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

Reshma Saujani – Female Empowerment in STEM

Coming from a career in law and politics, Reshma Saujani wanted to influence women to join the growing tech world. Encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM can be challenging without the right guidance and tools. To change this, Reshma created the not-for-profit organisation, Girls Who Code, to inspire, educate and equip women with the right tools to succeed. Her influential leadership began with an acute understanding that people need support, and to do so, she provided them with the guidance they needed. Girls Who Code has several programs that value diversity, equity and inclusion for a more gender-diverse STEM workplace. Leadership is supporting those who want to move forward and progress in their industry, along with some who face additional obstacles. Influential leaders need to be in touch with the needs of their team members, to support them in enhancing their ways of working.


Learn how to influence in leadership and inspire growth

When stepping into a new leadership role or wanting to gain new leadership skills, it is important to get the right guidance from experienced professionals. Undertaking training on influential leadership can give you tangible skills to grow your managerial capabilities. The University of Adelaide offers a Graduate Certificate of Business Administration online with a course ‘Leadership and Influencing’ to meet this demand. This course covers a range of strategies to enhance self-awareness, learn to inspire motivation, and address a number of complex organisational challenges that arise when leading a team. The University of Adelaide gives students a holistic leadership skillset and the graduate certificate program can serve as a pathway to an online MBA if you wish to take your career further.

Learn more about these courses and book an appointment with an advisor to understand how the University of Adelaide is shaping the next generation of business leaders.

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