by Connie Dieken

Les McKeown: Are Passion & Authenticity Over-Rated?

The Influential Leader Podcast Series | Tips on influential leadership and communication from today's leading experts.

Les McKeown doesn't buy into the common belief that passion and authenticity can make you influential. It's not that he's a contrarian - but this über-successful business author and serial entrepreneur pinpoints another, more specific reason for why leaders influence others.

"It's not very popular to say these days, Connie, and it will go against what a lot of other people are saying," says McKeown, "but influential leadership is not passion, it's not authenticity and it's not trust. In my experience, it's execution. It's actually making things happen."

(Whew - am I ever glad the subtitle of my book is How to Influence Others and Make Things Happen. That was a close one.)

The author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller Predictable Success says today's highly touted traits are by-products of influential leadership. Passion, authenticity  and trust are like molasses from refining sugar. Like asphalt from the refining of crude oil. They're useful, marketable, bankable by-products. They should not be the primary product.

"If you deliver for people over and over, well, they'll see that you're being authentic.  And if you have to deliver, then you'll use passion when necessary.  But just being passionate, just being authentic or just building trust with people - none of those, in and of themselves, in my observation, makes someone an influential leader."

McKeown is in the business of pattern recognition.  He started 42 businesses by age 35, and pinpointed that "80% of the patterns that every business goes through are repeatable and predictable." If you know where your business falls on the Predictable Success apex curve,  you'll gain context for what's going to happen next. And this knowledge will help you influence your team and customers.

McKeown says today's world is littered with "The Kim Kardashian Effect" - people who've gained followers, but don't lead others to substance. And he disagrees with those who believe Apple is successful because Steve Jobs is a great communicator. "Is he a great communicator? Sure" says McKeown.  "Does that help? Sure. Is he being authentic? I don't know. A couple of people have tried to tell me that he's not - that he can be a really, really difficult person and very different from his public persona.  But one things for sure; he delivers."

Hence Job's measurable influence. He executes brilliantly.

Click here to download to the podcast.

Click here to download a PDF of the full interview.

Predictable Success by Les McKeown is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.  It's a powerful resource for any leader wanting to get your organization on the growth rack - and keep it there.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book here: http://tinyurl.com/3gcfqkm

If you want a sneak peek, you can grab a sample chapter here: http://www.PredictableSuccess.com.


Topics: Influence and Leadership