Leadership is about impacting, influencing, and inspiring others. You cannot lead others without doing these three things well. You can manage projects and you can achieve goals, but those alone will not propel you or your organization forward. Eventually you will start to plateau, and your team will not be engaged. Being busy is not the key to success for a leader and cannot replace the fundamental three I’s.

Instead, highly effective leaders recognize the need to prioritize impacting people. Impacting others is not about paying more in wages or providing time off, even those are appreciated. Impact involves caring about people’s lives and their needs or concerns. Impacting others can be as simple as listening to them, asking their opinion, celebrating their birthday, demonstrating appreciation, mentoring them, or letting them leave early to attend their child’s soccer game. It is seeing them as a whole person that we invest in.

Leaders also need to influence their team to create, make good decisions and act for the better of others. Influencing others is about spending time sharing your vision for something, advocating for collaboration, and encouraging others to address issues by applying their values in deciding the best course of action. Influencing is about desiring something better for them and those you serve.

Finally, leaders are about inspiring others to achieve greater goals and growing as professionals and people. This includes serving as a role model, sharing your mission and purpose, and transparency about how you define success. Inspiration comes by sharing what is important to you or things you are learning along the way. It is expecting superior results and challenging others to become the best they can be.

Leadership is more than just making money, selling more products, or growing our organization. There is nothing wrong with those things; but if we are to lead, we must be impacting, influencing, and inspiring. Begin by checking your attitude, calendar, and relationships. Is your attitude positive and forward thinking? Does your calendar reflect that you are investing in relationships with others? Are others drawn to work on the things that you are passionate about? Do others feel valued and supported?

Let’s prioritize the things that will fuel success for our team and others – impacting, influencing, and inspiring!