The essence of leadership is influence.
Without influence, a leader is forced to resort to the use of fear and intimidation as a means to an end. The advent of Theory X in management was simply an outgrowth of an era of leaders who felt that workers wouldn't do their best without the use of a stick for proper motivation.
The threat of job loss was and probably still is a big stick. But most leaders have learned that fear is a turnover accelerant. Yelling and screaming at a team to "work harder" yields only temporary compliance, at best.
Influence begins in the heart of a leader. I don't know how it is possible to influence
anyone in the long run without a wheelbarrow full of care and compassion. The abundance of my heart is demonstrated in the manner in which I speak and take action. It is a combination of words and actions that build a relationship.
I cannot simply command a relationship into existence. Relationships are crafted over time and the fruit of the relationship is greater influence. I think many would-be leaders miss the fact that influence is a two-way street in the same way that relationships are mutually beneficial.
To be a person of influence, I must first be willing to be influenced by the needs of those I hope to lead.
A leader wouldn't suggest,
"Let me influence you. See how hard I work and how much I care? Now follow me!" Meaningful care is demonstrated more than spoken.
Relationships are the seed for the fruit of influence.