Becoming an Influential Leader

Warren Bennis once remarked, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” The first step in doing this is being able to articulate the vision and do it justice while doing so. The impact that we aim to create begins with our ability to impact and motivate our teams to work towards our objectives. The same is the rationale behind the leadership of Roland Folger, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.


Communication is the key in this scenario. It is impossible to flip through the history books and find a leader who didn’t inspire others. This skill isn’t something that you can fake or pretend to have. Any leader has to work tirelessly towards bettering their communication skills in order to be good at their job.


While each leader has their own unique style, there are some noticeable commonalities amongst those who communicate well.


As real as you can be

In every address and conversation, authenticity and transparency underline the contents of it. Our words tend to have a bigger impact on the audience when it is evident that they are coming from a place of truth and honesty. The ability to speak with conviction comes only by being real through your words. Employees are more likely to trust you and feel comfortable sharing your vision when it is communicated with genuineness.


The two-way street

All of us have been a part of a verbal exchange that feels ineffective. One of the telltale signs of a conversation like this is that it feels more like address than an exchange. A good communicator ensures that the audience feels involved even in situations when they are delivering a speech.


How does one do this? By being aware and listening to the audience. When it is a discussion, paying attention to other participants and addressing their queries with dedicated attention. This helps in driving across your message. A lot is said without words. While addressing a crowd be in-tune with their non-verbal cues just as you would notice a shift in a close-knit group and make changes to your delivery accordingly.


Bite sized meals

To leave a memorable impact on the audience, the message has to be clear and concise. It is difficult to remember anything that is long, ambiguous and complicated. Even while sharing a piece of complicated information, try to simplify the message as much as possible. Clarity and brevity not only help in making sure that there is a noteworthy takeaway from your exchange, but also guarantees that the superfluous is cut out. Time and clarity are precious commodities in today’s world. There isn’t much scope to make errors that stem out of miscommunication. As you move up the ladder, it becomes imperative to respect your own and others’ time.


Through the looking glass

While crafting your words, think of your audience. Go beyond what you have to say and delve into what they need to know and listen. Think of their state of minds and frame your words in a way that they will be receptive to what you have to say. A disconnect between the collective emotion of your audience and tonality of your words could lead to an irreparable blunder. This can be avoided only by being aware of the audience’s needs and empathizing with them. This also increases the level of authenticity of your words.

Weave these elements into your words to connect with your audiences successfully. Achieving our goals becomes possible through a common vision and collective effort. Being on the same page, believing in the same principles and working towards the same objective, are guaranteed ways to achieve success.