Influence is “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.” We all have the power to positively influence others, and the best kind of leadership is the leadership you give away. It’s when you use your influence to influence others. Andy Stanley, founder of North Point Community Church, says, “Leadership is stewardship.” How you steward it determines how much you are willing to give away, and how much you give away determines how far your influence will go.
You are likely in a position of influence and can influence influencers including small group leaders and/or coaches. If we are to steward our leadership well, then I think there are three things that can help us better understand our influence and impact.
1. Set Them Up Well-
Who you rub shoulders with, invest in, and give extra time to shows that you want others to succeed. One of the best ways I have found to do this is by following the I do, We do, You do method. It takes time and practice because it requires at least two committed people to say, “We are going to do this together until you are able to do this on your own.” Be willing to slow down and set the example. Encourage them to work with you and take one step at a time. But also, it helps when you inform and remind way more than you think you should. With everything going on in our lives, I have always found it best to over-communicate something rather than under-communicate because Donald Miller, best-selling author, says, “When you confuse- you lose.”
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2. Lead With Open Hands-
This one is a tad more challenging. Jesus reminds us that we will be able to do more. John 14:12 says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Jesus stewarded his leadership well because he led with open hands. Which of your leaders can take the ball farther down the field than you can- whether that is a ministry or a small group? Leading with closed fists can only get us so far and as a result, the ministry will only go so far. It takes more than one to be able to pull something off and sometimes you’ve had your run- other times you’re pulled into a different direction- and sometimes, someone with different skills comes along. Choose to pour into and invest in someone who can take what you do farther. It is not a competition. Good leaders lead with open hands.
3. Share the Load-
Lastly, doing more doesn’t help you accomplish more. It just means your best is now divided up into many different places. Who do you need to share the load with so that together your influence can go farther and deeper? Combined, a mile wide and a mile deep of influence goes a long way- so choose to share that with another individual on your team instead of doing a half mile wide and a half mile deep.