Who's that Girl?


How To Be An Influential Leader

Originally posted: October 17, 2012 on TrishMcFarlane.com

You’re not a leader if no one is following you.

This revelation hit me as I sat in a session on influence at last year’s HRevolution.  I was sitting outside the discussion group as I prepared my thoughts around closing the event when I found my attention drawn to the conversation.  As the group debated various ideas around what it means to be influential, how to gain influence, and what each person could do to create their own call to action, I found myself thinking about influence in the behavioral sense.  Being influential involves some simple behaviors.


  • Being intentional.  Making a real effort to reach out and connect with people.
  • Offering feedback or assistance. Asking the person what you can do for them, each and every conversation, builds trust.
  • Asking someone for their expertise, then sharing that with your network or another individual.
  • Promoting others’ work.  If you have credibility and you share someone else’s work, you not only continue to build your influence, you are building theirs as well.
  • Sharing your perspective. Doing so in a way that brings it to the individual level, but making it scalable to a larger group.

Being influential is granular for me.  It’s about having an individual come to me and say, “You really made me think differently, approach a situation differently, or take an action that I would not have taken.”  Influencing others means that you make an impact on  that person’s life.  Then, you begin multiplying that experience.  The beauty of being influential is that you become a leader regardless if you have the title or not.

What behaviors have I missed that support being  able to influence others?  Share them in the comments.

Leave a Comment

How we can help

Led by Trish Steed and Steve Boese, H3 HR Advisors harnesses over 40 years of experience to delivery HCM insights and guidance to global organizations.

Advisory services

By leveraging technology, analytics, and our deep industry knowledge we can help you to reposition your workforce and ensure that you have the right people with the right capabilities in the right roles to positively impact the growth of your business. 

HR Happy Hour Podcast Network

Created in 2009, The HR Happy Hour Show is hosted by Steve Boese and Trish Steed and is the longest continuously running internet radio show and podcast on Human Resources, HR Technology, Talent Practices, Workplace and Leadership topics. 

Speaking Services

We work closely with every client to customize your content - keynotes, webinars, research, infographics, and buyer’s guides - to inspire, educate and inform the audience enabling you to reset and realign your organization for a talent-led breakthrough.

Get in touch

Talk to us today and find out how we can help you and your organization leverage HCM technology to attract, onboard, retain and manage top talent.