Leadership Strategy – “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

In many leadership workshops, people are asked to think about a great leader they’ve known and list the qualities that made them such a great leader. 

What would your answer be??

We’ve worked with some amazing leaders and here’s my answer.   

They were outstanding in ALL of the following areas:

  •  People skills
  •  Business skills and knowledge
  •  Technical knowledge in their industry
  •  Visionary

Many people are great in some of these areas but not all.  When a leader excels in all of these areas, success is inevitable.

One of the biggest challenges for leaders is in the area of people skills because this is not as “black & white” as the other areas.  It involves what’s often referred to as “soft skills”.   Leaders need to know “how to win friends and influence people”, as this motivates and brings employees along with the company’s vision and goals, resulting in outrageously successful companies. 

In preparing for a recent talk on leadership, I came across my yellowed and worn copy of Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.  One of the chapters gives simple steps on how to make people like you.  As I read these, I reflected on my list of amazing leaders and, interestingly, they did all these things.  AND the result was everyone loved and respected these leaders and were motivated to do everything they could to help make the company successful.  Here are Carnegie’s six “rules”:

1. Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely

2. Become genuinely interested in other people. 

3. Remember that a man's name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language. 

4. Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves. 

5. Talk in terms of the other man's interest

6. Smile 

Pretty simple, yet very powerful!   As a leader, if you are not doing these things already, try them on for the next 30 days and see what a difference it makes.  Let me know.  I can be reached at Lois@UnshackledLeadership.com