Leadership is… Influence

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Influence.

Leadership is many things. There have been book upon books written to define this one word. There are hundreds of conferences each year to talk about this subject. And the cool thing is, leadership is an aspect which will never be completely understood. In the job in which I work I have the opportunity to learn not only what leadership is- but also put into the practice what I am learning. This has inspired a new continuing mini-series of posts I’m calling “Leadership Is”. Not long, complicated, or drawn out- just short thoughts on specific styles which may help you in your leadership as well.

So why start with Influence?

Simply put, understanding Influence is the foundation upon which all other aspects of leadership are based. To influence someone is to affect someone’s development, performance, or actions by example. People are influential by nature. In fact, when you are around and interact with anyone, you influence them. This fact has led me to the following conclusion.

Because everyone has influence, everyone is a leader.

When I say everyone, I mean everyone. The Janitor in the hall, the office geek in the cubicle, the farmer on the tractor, the sibling in the house… I could go one. Everyone influences everyone, and because of that, the basis of leadership is based on influence.

Now, what makes an effective leader, or an ineffective leader, is how we use this influence. Do we use it to build others up? Or tear others down? Do we use influence to teach beneficial habits, or to teach destructive habits? We all have an incredible God-given power of influence, how we lead with that, will determine the kind of leader we are.

What do you think? Do you have any stories where you remember having a good or bad influence? Maybe you were influenced were in a good way or bad way… I’d love to hear them! Just leave a comment below. :)

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