Friday, December 14, 2018

Lean Quote: 4 Keys of Leadership: Impact, Influence, Innovation, and Inspiration

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.


"Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers." — Robin S. Sharma

While we may be able to make a list a mile long of factors that play a role in effective leadership, you will be well on your way if you can nail down the four I’s of leadership; inspiration, influence, innovation, and impact. These are key factors that will determine your ability to be effective in any other aspect of leadership. Leadership isn’t about ideas; it’s about making things happen. Focus your attention and energy on the four I’s of leadership and watch what happens.


A leader inspires and motivates colleagues. They can spark the passion and creativity that encourages others to accomplish amazing things. Inspiration is the beginning of everything else; seek it at every turn and in every corner. Use your inspiration to pursue something you believe in; use it to make things happen and to inspire greatness in others. Let your inspiration be the spark that lights a wild fire.

Influence is how you get things done as a leader. In order to influence others you must build trusting relationships and show genuine concern on an individual level. Be a role model of accountability, perseverance, and courage. Be respectful in all of your interactions. Earnestly motivate your employees to accomplish noteworthy tasks and provide recognition rather than seek it. Become a good listener, then follow through and follow up. Share your wisdom and be transparent in your words and actions. When you become someone who employees look up to, you will have the influence you need to lead.

As a leader, you must focus your resources on challenging the status quo and helping others innovate. Reach across your organization for new and innovative ideas; fresh perspectives inspire fresh thinking. Leverage the disruptive opinions and opposing points of view you find in your organization to generate great ideas and question deeply held beliefs and assumptions. Provide a safe environment where employees can experiment and fail, then learn from that failure. Remember, innovation is never an end; it’s only a step in a continual process.

Ultimately, leadership is about getting results. Your leadership is not about you, it’s about creating a culture of accomplishment. It’s about making an impact by interweaving connections, challenges, and creative situations. Recognize that your leadership will have an impact, whether good or bad, on everyone who interacts with your organization. Leadership is about people; awaken in others the belief that they can accomplish extraordinary things and make them feel valued. And then, cultivate leadership in others; leave a legacy of impacting future leaders in such a positive way that they, in turn, will have the same impact on others.

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