5 Pillars webDuring my thirty years in the business world I have witnessed good leadership, bad leadership and no leadership.  My friend, mentor and partner John Maxwell says that “everything rises and falls on leadership.”  I believe this to be true.  And I believe that to be an effective, influential leader there is a progression that takes place over time.  This progression I call the 5 pillars of influential leadership.

One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. Wayne Dyer.  He says this:

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

As a coach, I believe in the philosophy that you already have the answers within you.  The progress in whatever you do comes from asking better questions.  I am not really trying to bring new information – simply a different way to do what you are already doing.  I suggest asking better questions to get better answers.  The quality of the answer is directly related to the quality of the question.  Try and move away from the closed “yes or no” questions and ask more open ended questions.

For example … I could ask “Would it be helpful if you got more productivity out of your people?”  The better question to ask would be “How could you get more productivity out of your people?” or “What would the benefit be if your people were more productive?”  To take it a step further … What would be the benefit to your business if your people were more productive?” or better yet “What would be the benefit to your people if they were more productive?”

* Again …. You already have the answers within you – I simply bring new perspective in asking better questions.

OK –So why does any of this matter?  I think it matters because people matter.  In fact, I named my business Building What Matters because I think your people are what really determine your level of success.  I don’t think too many of you would argue that your people “labor” are you biggest liability.  At the same time, most would agree that they are also your biggest asset.  So why is it that we spend more on equipment, operations and technology than we do on our people?

This is not breaking news but when you hire someone you hire them off a resume and an interview.  Regardless of how good that might look, you are getting the whole package.  The best way to have good employees is to hire good people.  Once you have them, it only makes sense to try and help them grow closer to their potential.

OK – The five pillars … what I have learned from watching, reading and living in a leader driven world is that there is a progression that all successful leaders have travelled.  Although there is overlap in this progression, one builds into the next and if any are weak, they will weaken the overall ability for you to be an influential leader.

John Maxwell also says that Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less.  So if you follow Maxwells’s thinking “Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less and “everything rises and falls on leadership” then everything rises and falls on influence.  So here is the question … How influential of a leader are you?  More importantly, why is being an influential leader important?

It is important because your people are looking to you to pull them up.  Owners and managers look for opportunity, employees, for the most part, look for someone to provide them an opportunity.  So what would happen if all our people started looking for opportunities to get better, faster and more efficient?  This is huge.  Looking for, and taking advantage of opportunities is probably how most of you got started in business and how many of you have remained successful.  You already know what your path has been to success.  Let’s make our people part of that same journey.



If you would like to discuss how the 5 Pillars of Influential Leadership can help penetrate the noise and clutter of everyday business and build impact and value please email me at: or give me a call at 971-221-9495.

An article I wrote on the 5 Pillars was recently featured in the 2013 International Leadership Blogathon.  To read the article click here.

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