Influential Leadership

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As I’ve studied leadership more and more, and as I have tried to become a student of leadership, a few things have stuck with me.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is the foundational definition of leadership comes from John Maxwell: Leadership is Influence. (here’s a blog post from 2005 written by Maxwell that starts with this idea)

In my job, I get to watch as students display influence and leadership over those around them. Many of them do not realize what’s happening, but some of them do.

One of the things I enjoy doing is finding someone who is exhibiting excitement, point in them in the right direction, and let them lead.

One example comes from our Vacation Bible School this week. During the music rotation I noticed a lack of energy coming from my group of students, and the lack of energy negatively influenced the younger kids in the room.

But there was one boy, in particular, who was displaying some excitement. So, I pulled him aside, pointed this older student in the direction of some younger students, and watched as he walked over, stood by, danced by, and after a short while, influenced these younger kids to join him.

Leadership doesn’t always have to be leading organizational change or altering the course of mankind. Sometimes, leadership happens by encouraging the person next to you to dance a little.

We all influence someone. How can you maximize your influence today?

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