“In most cases, those who want power probably shouldn’t have it, those who enjoy it probably do so for the wrong reasons, and those who want most to hold on to it don’t understand that it’s only temporary.”
— John C. Maxwell
Dr. Myles Munroe said, “I much rather be a person of influence than a person of great power. Now some of you may think that power is the end all be all, but when you have influence, power, in a way, becomes obsolete. You have to really think about it. Be Influential, not Controlling!”
What an empowering fact; You are designed for good things, and your thoughts, words, and deeds have the power to influence any person or situation around you. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, our presence carries a certain level of influence that those around us can read.
Learn To Steward The Influence You Have
Understanding the use of influence is how good leaders become great leaders. You cannot purchase influence or have it conferred upon you. Lasting influence must be acquired by establishing credibility.
Influence can be temporarily received by association with others who’ve earned it. When you borrow influence, you must quickly prove yourself trustworthy, so you’ll eventually become influential through honest interactions with others.
Maintaining a high level of ethics will increase influence, inspire loyalty, and yield great returns for your investment in adding value to the people around you. Our influence comes from who we are and not what we do. So, how do we develop and steward influence? To answer that question, let’s follow the leaders.
Influential Leaders Own Their Humanness
“Influence is like a baton; if we do not pass it on to those who can take it on to the next stage of the race, we’ll be running alone.”
None of us possess all the answers to the why behind all that went into our journey. It requires a degree of humility to accept and embrace the totality of ourselves to run a better race in the future.
Our natural abilities are by design, as is our unique gift mix. Much of how we respond to the world around us can hinder or help us contribute to changing the world around us.
Influential leaders understand that self-awareness is a beautiful asset to owning our humanness; that being said, great leaders welcome the journey of self-discovery by managing their emotions first.
We can embrace our journey, learn from it, and pass on what we know or distance ourselves from a hurtful past, thus limiting our ability to influence those we lead positively; hence, we continue to run alone.
Get To Know Yourself So You Can Grow Yourself
Early on, I discovered the benefits of teaching my people what I know and what I learned on my journey. Being open about the good, bad, and ugly in my story equipped them to write a better script for their future. I learned to,
Accept the good and the bad about my past, practicing non-attachment with everything I like and dislike about my history.
See how growth is not optional; it’s a prerequisite to influential leadership.
Develop a detailed picture of the leader I want to be in the next five years.
Accept that I only have control over my present and future decisions and responses to the world around me, and hold myself accountable for both.
Understand why I’m known by the friends I keep, so I choose them wisely.
Understand that friends and acquaintances are not the same.
“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”
— Napoleon Hill
“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.”
— Ken Blanchard
*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***