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Are you a Person of Influence? Are you an Effective Leader?

Whatever your role in life, you can improve your impact on others and your relationships by becoming a person of influence – in other words “an effective leader”.  

I recall a workshop that I conducted on leadership at the College Prep Conference and Career Fair hosted by the Center for Leadership Development in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The main theme of the workshop was that we identified  key characteristics of an effective leader. 

It was easy to agree on the following:  

  • Leaders are visionaries

  • Leaders have authority

  • Leaders develop strategy

  • Leaders exhibit trust

  • Leaders develop others 

  • Leaders are role models

But, the ultimate characteristic that we all agreed upon was that LEADERS INFLUENCE.  

What is influence and why do leaders need it?   

Here are 5 things to consider to assess your level of influence.  Ask yourself these questions to determine if you are an effective leader and a positive influence.

  1. People of influence add value – to themselves and to others.  How are you adding value?

  2. Increasing your leadership is increasing your influence (and vice versa).  How are you increasing your level of influence?  What are you doing to grow and stretch - everyday?  

  3. As a leader, you attract "who you are", not "who you want".  Think about it and ask yourself, “What are the characteristics of people that you want to lead or influence?”  In order to attract those people, you have to exhibit those characteristics.  Are you demonstrating the characteristics of those you want to attract?

  4. Your value as a leader and your influence level increases when you influence at a time when people need it the most.  Leaders sense teachable moments.  They sense breakthrough places.  They sense when change is possible and needed. And then they take action! Are you "learning to look" for opportunities for teachable moments and opportunities to influence?

  5. Determine your motives for wanting to lead.  If your motives are sincere, you can be an effective leader because effective leadership is first based on trust and respect. Are you trustworthy and have you earned that trust?

Everyone influences someone.  The question is whether the influence is for the good.  Reflect on the questions above to assess your level of influence and determine if you are an effective leader. When you positively influence others, you, my friend, are an effective leader! 


Denola M. Burton is the Founder and CEO of Enhanced DNA: Develop Nurture Achieve, LLC and Enhanced DNA Publishing. Through Enhanced DNA, Denola develops and nurtures individuals and organizations to achieve their Leadership, Communication and Performance goals and objectives. Denola is also an author and publisher and through Enhanced DNA Publishing, assists new and newer authors in publishing their books according to the standards of the Independent Book Publisher's Association (IBPA). Denola retired from Eli Lilly and Company after 27 years where the majority of her career was focused on Employee Relations/Human Resources. Interested in becoming an author? Check out Denola' s award-winning book, Enhancing Your Author DNA: Step-by-Step Publishing Guide

You can connect with Denola on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIN Enhanced DNA or send a message to


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