Saturday, July 9, 2011

Law No. 2 - The Law of Influence - John C. Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Law 2 - The Law of Influence

John C Maxwell says, that 'leadership is influence', nothing more, nothing less. While this statement may not be 'irrefutable' as the title of his popular book says, the fact is leadership encapsulates influence. A good leader has vision and purpose, and while reaching towards the clouds, influence is what helps fulfill the dreams of the leader. Maxwell writes, 'The true measure of leadership is influence...' It is safe to say, that without influence, a leader does not have the ammunition, if you like, to reach the goals or the resources and capacity around to reach the destination.

Maxwell speaks of the death of Princess Diana, that stopped the world in its tracks. This was a lady with influence, that captured the hearts of the people. The question I ask, is how do you increase your influence? Also, is influence always a good thing?

Firstly, influence can be used for good or evil. No doubt we are aware that Hitler had influence, but his warped regime characterises evil and is not the kind of influence we want. Lets assume, the influence we have, is not for some self-aggrandizement, like some tele-evangelist with a bulging bank balance. Lets assume, building influence is about bringing great change and transformation to the causes we are passionate about. Building influence in order that multi-million dollar companies might embrace the Fair Trade movement is great. Building influence within a Church building project, may involve having the leaders, the skills, and the finances at your fingertips so that the God-given dream will succeed. Influence need not be a scary thing, or something to be overly wary of, as long as we are dealing with 'power' in all its forms, and only allowing influence to be used for good, ethical causes.

Secondly, to the question of how we increase influence (not necessarily just personally, but maybe the influence of a church, organisation, etc), here are some thoughts:
* Build trust with others
* Learn to have self-assertiveness and to be decisive
* Be a positive leader
* Take others with you on the journey
* Pray and believe the Bible
* Be faithful, obedient and have integrity in all things
* Learn to communicate effectively

Influence is a questionable attribute for some. A Christian may claim that influence is unbiblical and the goal to become a person of influence is not God's desire for someone. The thesis being, that God is the only one who will and can make someone influential, and is not something humans should strive after. I agree partly with this assertion, though, I believe strongly in the words of Romans 12:8 that says we all have different gifts given to us, and if it is leadership, then, 'lead diligently'. If we are called by God to be a leader, then we are responsible to grow as a leader, and be faithful in reading, learning and developing, in order that we may lead diligently. Influence is not synonymous with power in a worldly sense, but simply characteristic of strong leadership.

Remember Law No. 2 - The law of Influence - From John C Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

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