Leadership = Relationships + Influence

The topic of leadership can seen be double-edged sword if we are not clear. First, leadership is a skill to develop over time and each of us is a leader in the areas that we influence. Leadership is the critical glue for success and leadership development must be a focus. Second, (the double edge part!) leadership is a word to which not everyone can relate. When we mention leadership, half (or more) of the audience we are talking to checks out. They see leadership as something that is not applicable to them and in fact, that leadership is “someone else’s job!” They do not view that they hold “leadership” positions at work or anywhere else for that matter. We know this is not at all accurate, but in reality, the word leadership becomes a barrier to many. Additionally, when we attempt to “fix” this disconnect, we say things like, “everyone is a leader,” which is true, but seen as cliché, making it hard to buy into.

This is the double-edge-sword reality, and we must work within reality to find any success. We know that great leaders are people that focus on relationship building, and this can only be established through trust. Trust is then developed by being accountable to those that depend on us and by maintaining a consistent and admirable character. The BASE Model stands strong on accountability and character, thus we built the BASE model on a foundation of trust at the individual level and at the organizational level.

Leadership is driven by influence and relationships in a very tangible way in order to maximize our ability to learn and grow in building leadership. When I ask myself, “Who do I lead?” – it is likely hard to identify if I am not in a “typical” leadership role. But when I ask, “Who do I influence in various aspects of my life?” – I can begin to see and talk about the people I influence at work, in my family and with my friends. The same is true for people in a typical leadership role at work. They can now begin to see that their influence travels far beyond their work role but yet drives and influences their ability to lead when they manage their area of influence. They also begin to see the value in developing their leadership (influence and relationship building) skills to enhance their skills.

As the puzzle unfolds, we see that the more we build our skills individually, those we influence and those that they influence gain knowledge and skills as well. Remember, leadership is a skill that can and needs to be developed. We build our leadership (influence) knowledge and skills at every level of an organization, company, family, school, church, board of directors etc.

Our BASE Model improves leaders in their ability to be consistent in decision-making, habits and actions. Additionally, our ability to focus on desired results and align actions allows us to drive results at work, at home and in all areas of our lives. Creating a tangible BASE personally, in small groups, and in entire organizations, ultimately drives not only our own self-concept but also the culture of our organizations built on trust.

This is a great start at looking how you can adjust and improve some simple thinking in your life to drive great results, not only for you, but also for the people that depend on you the most – and that is gratifying! Much more to come on this topic in the months ahead!

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