Under The Influence

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“A person can wield influence in many ways…  By force, intimidation, manipulation, exchange, persuasion, motivation and honor…”

–     John C. Maxwell (b. 1947), in “The Maxwell Leadership Bible (NIV)

Consider the way a Difference Maker wields influence.  Candidly, as a leader, several of the methods described by Maxwell have to be in the leaders’ toolkit, but intimidation has no place and force ought to be used as sparingly as possible.

Look at the other options, though!  Exchange, the art of giving before getting.  Motivation, the act of energizing others.  And honor.  Wow, does that one jump off the screen or what?

Wielding force by honor is the modern definition of servant leadership.  Servant leaders leave legacies.  And, they grow leadership communities that last for generations.  Servant leadership is the lifeblood of sustainable growth and it’s sometimes very difficult to keep it primary.

Until it isn’t.

Once one has it, they have it, but it’s not a lifetime guarantee.  As leaders, we have to breathe into and nurture the best of who we are and what we’ve learned to stay viable, engaged and worth following.  When it slips away from us, it’s harder to get back, but not impossible.  It is very much worth striving for at every station along the way of our careers and lives.

A friend recently introduced me to this, Maxwell’s most compelling work.  I’d been exposed to the theory before, but something makes this time around different.  It’s not a theory.  It’s difference-making stuff.  Dad always said that some experiences are experienced differently after you have more experience.  Like Maxwell, Dad was right.

Make it a great day.

 

 


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