The Most Powerful Way to Enhance Influence

wearing a mask

At least once in a while, forget about controlling outcomes. Build human connections.


Set aside the things leaders hide behind. Turn off:

  1. Results.
  2. Strategies.
  3. Respect.
  4. Vision casting.
  5. Authority.
  6. Planning.
  7. Power.
  8. Timelines.
  9. Job titles.
  10. S.M.A.R.T. goals.


Take a deep breath and let go of doing, at least once in awhile. Connect by gently stepping toward people with an open heart.

Forget about what you want to do
and remember who you want to be.

The most powerful way to enhance influence
is removing your mask and being you.

“Surrendering means completely relinquishing any effort to control or manipulate the outcome. Surrendering means putting all effort into being completely authentic, real, and mask-free.” Chip Bell and Marshall Goldsmith in, “Managers as Mentors.”

Bell and Goldsmith on surrender:

  1. Mask-removal.
  2. Openness.
  3. Vulnerability.
  4. Curiosity.
  5. Not dedicated to convincing.
  6. Candid with the intent of helping not hurting.
  7. Accepting candor from others.
  8. Learning-oriented.
  9. Positive regard for others.
  10. Not judging.

“The ritual of relationship is the gradual lowering of the mask.” Bell and Goldsmith

Responses to mask-removal:

  1. Scrambling to put it back on
  2. Searching for new masks.
  3. Fear of rejection.
  4. Wondering who I am without the things I do.
  5. Freedom and relief.
  6. Waste of time.
  7. Vitality and opportunity.

Leaders are manipulators apart from authenticity. Posturing makes frauds of us all. Come back to the heart of leadership by lowering your mask.


  1. Lower your mask gently.
  2. Trust others first, even if it’s risky.
  3. Watch for reciprocity. Does their mask lower, too?
  4. Find and build on shared interests.
  5. Ask an authentic leader to help you learn authenticity.

Bonus: Always unmask with optimism regarding yourself, others, and relationships.

The most powerful leadership behavior is unmasking yourself.

What are the dangers of lowering your mask?

How can leaders come out from behind their masks?

Free book: Leave a comment on: “How to be a Sage without being a Snob,” to be eligible to win 1 of 25 copies of, “Managers as Mentors.”

Learn powerful components of trusting relationships from the trust expert, Stephen M.R. Covey. Complimentary webinar on June 12, 2013:

Stephen M.R. Covey