“Influence” is, or should be, your goal as a leader. Without influence, you can call yourself a leader, but you will not have an impact that makes a difference.
Title or position does not make a leader. Click To Tweet
This is the last of my series on “Impact the World.” Every article in this series has been designed to help you be the best you can be and live true to your God-given purpose. You can find links to the entire article series at the bottom of this post.
“You will know serenity and your life will have a life changing impact, for you and others, when you seek to fulfill your God-given purpose. People will have opinions and you will have desires. Unless those opinions and desires fall into alignment with God’s design for you, serenity will be something you only hope for and your impact will be much less than what is possible.” ~ Debbie Luxton
Being a person of influence comes with responsibility. I like to say that we all influence someone; good or bad. It’s true that someone is always watching and they have the option to take something away.
- Do you accept the responsibility of this?
- Do you accept that you own your behaviors and your words and therefore, you can impact the world positively or negatively with every word you speak and every action you take?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
If you accept the responsibility that comes with influencing others, then you also must accept the responsibility to continually learn and grow as a leader. To always be leading yourself well and, most importantly, to do the things that matter most to God.
I speak and teach on John Maxwell’s program, “Becoming a Person of Influence.” Notice the title of this program is “Becoming…” This means that you are able to develop the skills needed to be the leader, person of influence, you long to be.
There are key characteristics of leaders who gain the respect and loyalty of others and thus, are accepting of a leaders influence. John Maxwell outlines these characteristics through the following words of this acrostic:
I is for Integrity
– Being trustworthy is at the top of the list for leaders who are able to influence others.
– Do you practice what you preach? Your integrity will fall rapidly when you expect something of others, but do not demonstrate that the expectation applies to you as well.
“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” ~ C.S. Lewis
N is for Nurture
– Small things count for a lot and tell people you care; that your concerns are not just about the bottom line. Things like celebrations, individual cards or notes, team outings or any number of other people focused efforts.
– Create a culture where people know it’s okay to take calculated risks and to come speak with you when they are troubled by something.
“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love.” ~ Henry Drummond
F is for Faith
– Demonstrate your faith in people by allowing them to take on new and bigger projects.
– Every person on your team should know that you believe in them and that you are willing to help them be the best they can be.
“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” ~ G. K. Chesterton
L is for Listen
– Do not assume you are a good listener! Do the work to ensure you are a good listener.
– Ask: what is the other persons heart, what do they hope for, what is their hurt and how I help?
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” ~ Bryant H. McGill
U is for Understands
– Understanding other people requires that you get outside your own perspective and consider their viewpoint.
– You will understand a person much better when you know what they have achieved in their life and when you know what their dreams are.
“Few things will pay you bigger dividends than the time and trouble you take to understand people. Almost nothing will add more to your stature as an executive and a person. Nothing will give you greater satisfaction or bring you more happiness.” ~ Kuienzle & Dare, Climbing the Executive Ladder
E is for Enlarges
– People who influence others make investments of time and energy to lift others up.
– Continually deposit value into the lives of others.
“There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being — to help someone succeed.” ~ Alan Loy McGinnis
N is for Navigates
_ As a leader with influence, you help others in charting the course to reach their higher calling.
– Share your experience, strength and hope as this helps others navigate life with insight.
“The man who goes alone can start the day. But he who travels with another must wait until the other is ready. “ ~ Henry David Thoreau
C is for Connects
– Communicating with people does not equal a connection with them. It takes more. Go to their world – listen and relate.
– Humility is a great skill in connecting. People want to go deeper and connect when they hear your heart.
“You’ve got to love like you’ll never get hurt. You’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching. You’ve got to come from the heart if you want it to work.” ~ Susanna Clarke
E is for Empowers
– As a leader, empowering others means you do all you can to set them up for success.
– Inspire others to be the best they can be as you demonstrate your confidence in them.
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. “ ~ Nelson Mandela
One final thing a person of influence does is to reproduce others who will have a positive impact on the world. By choosing to do all the things mentioned above, even briefly, you will have the great honor of leading others to love and serve as God has called them.
Previous Articles in the “Impact the World” Series: