John Maxwell defines leadership as influence. The more influence you have with people the more people will follow you. If we are going to accept the idea that leadership is influence, then we have to look at the influence that we have with the people around us.
How do we gain, maintain, and increase our influence?
Influence is gained through relationships and serving those around you. I truly believe the old adage that says, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. As we show people that we care about them and begin to pour into their lives both personally and professionally, the natural byproduct is influence. The more people believe you care about them the more trust they will put into your influence.
If influence is gained through relationships and serving those around us then it is maintained by continuing to do these things. Willingness to do the tasks that you may see as insignificant to serve those who follow you is important. Far too often, leaders lose their humility and step dangerously close to the pride line. When we begin to see tasks as below us, we then begin to view the people that do those tasks as below us as well. This is dangerous territory my friends!
Once you have a team of people that trust you, you can increase your influence by giving it away. I know this statement may seem inconsistent with the modern thinking that more is always better but when it comes to influence, the way to get more is addition by subtraction. Empowering those you lead to begin to use their influence to care for and serve others will ultimately build the team and your influence. Craig Groecshel says, “Vision Leaks, Culture Drifts. So recast and course correct often”. The people in your organization need to be regularly set back on course.
As leaders or influencers, it is critical that we make sure that the people we lead are headed in the direction set for us by the top-level leaders in the organization. As a Location Pastor for Next Level Church, I need to continually remind the people I serve of the culture, values, and vision set by God through our Leadership Team.
As a leader in your organization, it is your responsibility to increase your influence by building a team that can keep the vision and culture. Keep in mind, no matter how much influence you give away, you can never stop leading. The top doesn’t stop!
Pastor Bobby & Dawn Brown, along with their children, are dynamic leaders with decades of ministry experience. They love to pastor people, share Jesus, and see others discover and grow in a personal relationship with God. Bobby is the Location Pastor at Next Level Church- FishHawk Florida. He and Dawn have been married for 21 years and they have 2 children (Alexis 19, Elijah 15).