The true measure of leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less! – John Maxwell
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20)
It is not unusual to hear people say they do not feel like they are leaders, or that they are influential. I certainly have felt that way at various times in my life. If you feel like you are not influential it may be because you are not in a position of authority, have a fancy title or a corner office somewhere. However, this common perspective (I’ve been guilty of this) confuses title, position or authority with influence. Title may give someone authority, but not influence.
Influence comes from three indispensable qualities within a person, and influence must be learned. The three qualities are: 1) Competence – your ability to provide a reason for people to listen to you; 2) Character – can people consider you utterly trustworthy; and 3) Connection – do people feel like you understand their predicaments and do you bring courage to their pursuits.
So, if influence has nothing to do with title or authority, then we all have tremendous opportunity to be influencers. As parents, as a spouse, brother, sister, neighbor, co-worker, church member, hobby club member, or friend. In fact, the Great Commission calls us to be great influencers as we go out to all the world and share the good news of Jesus Christ. Fortunately, we have the potential power of the Holy Spirit within us to lead the way of influence. It is only potential power until, and unless, we allow Him to reign. If you find that your influence with others is decreasing it is likely because your vision is becoming smaller and your pride is becoming bigger. Both are a result of not letting the Holy Spirit lead you in all ways.
With influence comes great responsibility. God uses one person’s influence to accomplish His plans. Think of Nehemiah, Moses, Ester, David, and Daniel — just to name a few great influencers in the Bible. Perhaps one biblical influencer you wouldn’t think about is Rahab – the prostitute from Jericho (Joshua 2:1-21). Here was a woman who occupied no position, held no official title, as a woman was looked upon as a lower class citizen, and as a prostitute, she held an even lower social rank. There seemed little logical reason why Rahab should have been chosen by God. However, she helped the spies by her quick wisdom, gutsy style, and clever plan. By doing so she saved not only her own life, but aided in accomplishing the purposes of God in Jericho.
The greatest biblical example of influence was Jesus Christ during His short time of ministry on earth. He was a master at three key fundamentals of influence:
1. Be a clear model (set the example)
2. Communicate a clear message (call the listener to take a specific action)
3. Be a persuasive motivator (give people a clear reason for taking action)
Beyond mastering fundamentals, Jesus had a critical factor – His motive was only to do the Father’s will! You see influence can be either positive or negative (think about the effects of Satan’s influence). Influencers who lead out of a desire to advance their own agendas manipulate the people for their own gain. Therefore, the condition of your heart – in other words, your motive, is key to the outcome your influence will have on others.
Influence is so key to our ability to fulfill God’s plans. Invest in yourself to become better able to be part of God’s plan. Take advantage of a fantastic training opportunity this Friday – May 11th in Fredericksburg. A one day seminar on “The Influence Index – Increasing a Leader’s True Value” will held via the John Maxwell Maximum Impact Simulcast. Renowned athletes, authors, and leadership experts from virtually every circle of influence are converging for the most compelling leadership event of the year. Join 80,000 people across North America for one amazing day of equipping to become better influencers. Refer to the Link of the Day for more information and to order your ticket.
Father, we desire to be used by You to fulfill Your plans and purposes. We accept Your Great Commission and the great responsibility that comes with it. Please help us become better influencers of people for Your purposes. Forgive us for the times we have let our agendas and our fleshly desires guide our heart and let our influence ability become manipulation. We desire to have You and You alone be the ruler of our heart. Clear away the sin and barriers to us becoming great influencers for Your Kingdom purposes. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Link of the Day
John Maxwell Maximum Impact Simulcast [http://easytix.ticketforce.com] – Salem Fields Community Church & Core Impact Media present John Maxwell – Maximum Impact Simulcast. The Influence Index; Increasing A Leader’s True Value. Join 80,000 business professionals across North America for one amazing day of leadership training!
Blessings to be a good steward of your influence for God’s glory!
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Today’s entire devotional and prayer was written by Michael Stay, the most influential business mentor of my entire life.
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