Leadership Influence: What Sources Are You Using?

by José Morales, MBA, PCC

Influence is a cornerstone of effective leadership, shaping how leaders inspire, motivate, and guide others towards a common goal.  It’s the subtle yet profound ability to affect change, drive performance, and create a productive environment.


As an executive coach, I often work with leaders who need to influence with more confidence, effectiveness, and consistency.  What I’ve learned is that highly effective leaders learn to master three critical sources of influence: Authority, Connection, and Impact.    Understanding these sources and which sources you may be over, or under, utilizing is crucial for building more effective influence.


Authority in the context of influence goes beyond position and title.  It includes expertise, knowledge, and the respect a leader garners from others through their words and actions.  Influential authority is earned through consistent demonstration of competence, reliability, and integrity.  When leaders exhibit a high level of expertise and ethical behavior, they build credibility and gravitas.  Influence sourced from authority encourages followers to align with the leader’s vision, fostering a culture of shared purpose.


Connection is about the energy and attitude a leader brings to their relationships.  Through active listening, empathetic interactions, and clear communication of ideas, leaders can connect with their followers on a deeper level.   Connection is crucial for influence, as people are more inclined to follow leaders who make them feel understood and valued.  Connection fosters trust and opens channels of communication, making it easier for leaders to influence, persuade, and motivate their teams.


Impact is the difference leaders make through their decisions, actions, and the people they develop.  Leaders who leverage impact as a source of influence are focused on driving meaningful change, successful outcomes and inspiring followers to achieve more than they thought possible.  Influentially impactful leaders set clear goals, provide necessary resources, and empower their teams to take ownership of their work.


The importance of influence as a leader cannot be overstated.   Taken together, Authority, Connection, and Impact create a powerful triad of influence.  The most effective leaders leverage their authority through a foundation of knowledge and respect, build trust through connection, and deliver impacts that leave a meaningful and positive legacy. Which sources of influence are you most confidently applying?  Which ones might need more focus?


Elevate your Leadership Potential


To learn more about leadership influence and executive coaching, reach out to José for a consultation.