You’ve Got It Wrong On Influence

Our good friend John Maxwell has always said that leadership is influence. I firmly believe that.

Leading requires us to have a certain amount of influence on others. Yet we’ve also mistaken what influence truly is.

Influence is often unseen

Image by Marco

What Influence Isn’t

Influence isn’t getting others to do what you want them to do.

Influence isn’t controlling others.

Influence isn’t forcing people to do your will.

Influence isn’t manipulating others.

Influence isn’t showing off.

Influence isn’t a Klout score

Influence isn’t is the number of followers you have.

There are so many things that leadership is but the above isn’t true influence.

What Influence Is

Influence is impacting lives.

Influence is making a difference in the lives of others.

Influence is showing how much you care.

Influence is taking the time to do something nice for another person.

Influence is giving up your recognition so others can be recognized.

Influence is teaching someone.

Influence is caring enough to voice your opinion.

Influence is a personal touch.

In youth ministry, there were many times where I’d feel like we weren’t making a difference. Showing up felt like a chore and something we HAD to do.

Yet I am often reminded that the above is what influence is about. It’s the giving of ourselves to others so they can grow.

One story, in particular, keeps coming to mind.

Pam and I were walking to the Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon, Mi. We were a couple of blocks away from the concert when a young man walked up to us.

His face was unfamiliar but he was excited to see me. He reintroduced himself and told me who he was.

He was a former youth student who had been influenced by me.

You won’t always know or remember who you influenced, but they’re all around. They’re Billy and Susie and Johnnie.

Every interaction you have with someone is a chance to be an influence. Don’t forget that!

Question: Have you been surprised at who you’ve influenced? Share a story in the comment section so we can talk about it.

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