Leadership Formula: Learn, Connect, Influence

Time to Learn

Over the past four years I have analyzed people and processes to develop a better leadership model. This leadership training formula can be used personally and/or professionally and is known as the LCI model.

LCI is a fairly basic model that stands for:

  • Learn
  • Connect
  • Influence

These three pieces put together form a strong foundation for leadership.


Education and life learning are the foundation for personal growth. The lessons we learn and retain are what make us grow up as opposed to just growing old.

Classroom learning is important to enhance the mind so that we can better develop and learn about new possibilities and progressive growth toward the future.

The classroom can be:

  • Staged in a school. whether it be physical or digital
  • In the workplace or at home
  • It can be anywhere one develops knowledge in an interactive setting toward understanding and growth

Learning from others experience is a part of human growth that sometimes goes unrecognized. I have learned more from listening and collaborating with others, to integrate methods with past, present and future ideas toward innovation masterpieces.

Risk and failure are a part of learning and growth, when life happens people are forced to learn lessons. The idea that generation integration in the workplace has become an issue due to an increased gap in differences blows my mind; integration takes and open mind and willingness to change in order to learn and grow.

Leading by understanding the strength of learning concepts will lead to endless possibilities.


Relationships are important to grow a network that expands to include many by touching only a few. The concept of “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is a myth.

Who you know will help advance a person, but you need knowledge and self- promotion in order to advance.

An example would be that someone you know can get you an interview, but you have to sell yourself in order to land the position.

Networking takes time energy and self-promotion, but will help one spread their individual message. As a leader I look to educate and influence as many people as I possibly can to ensure continued growth; this takes hard work, dedication, and communication.

Communication is commonly seen and understood as passing a message. What we miss in this understanding is that communication is more of a listening skill than a speaking skill. When connecting with others I have found that if I listen more I can understand them better and convey an unspoken message, the message that I care.

I used to sit through management meetings about communication and nothing ever got better because everyone had a solution, but no one listened to each other in order to make progress. When I spent time with my groups outside the meetings, I would listen 95% of the time and speak 5% which produced a bond with my team.

When people want more communication, what they are asking for is someone to listen and guide while providing information that is important and relevant to them.

Leaders need a following which takes strong networking and communication skills.

A strong leader has the ability to influence others with only having to speak to and interact with a few people.


In order to influence people a leader must understand how to educate, embrace, and empower others.  Leadership takes continuous learning as well as educating; sharing information is important in order to develop others while creating a collaborative atmosphere to create new information.

When educating people one must be open to the ideas of others and innovative information, collaboration expands minds while creating a learning environment for the leader and expanding the network which they influence.

Leaders should empower others to be creative and become great. This act of empowerment will develop an atmosphere of innovation which requires a selfless attitude and an open mind.

When a strong foundation is built, the foundation will last no matter what changes occur above. The combination or learn, connect, influence allows for leaders to grow personally and professionally one the same foundational concepts.

Leaders of the future need inspiration from the leaders today.  How can we better integrate generations when the majority of leadership images that surfaces on the new age platforms positioned in a negative light? Do you think that the public school system would benefit from more collaborative style learning? Why?


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders


Michael R Stanford is Doctoral Learner at UOP
He does occasional motivational speaking for community colleges
Email | LinkedInFacebookWeb

Image Source: learnmore.uncg.edu

L2L Contributing Author

1 Comment

  1. Dave Schlueter (@daveschlueter) on April 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    These are definitely the key ingredients. In particular learning and continuing to expand your learning and personal growth is so important.

    Let’s face it it’s easier to accept a person in a role of leadership when they continually have something of value to share with us and it is only natural that we gravitate toward those with skills, knowledge, and abilities beyond our own.