Understanding the Law of Influence from John C Maxwell’s book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” is paramount to the success of any leader. The law states that “the true measure of leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less”
Have you ever seen a leader with no team? If you are out there leading and you find yourself with no followers… you are not leading, you’re just taking a walk. As a leader, influence is critical.
Who has influenced you?
Think back at the people in your life that have influenced you. What do you remember about them?
I can remember clearly one of the first people who believed in me more than I believed in myself. His name (coincidentally) was Frank. Frank was the manager of the restaurant where I worked in high school.
Frank would sit me down and explain the inner workings of the business to me. He taught me and then he began to give me more responsibility. He mentored me and then promoted me to a position of leadership. Frank was a great leader. In my life he had “influence”.
In high school, I was a hard charging “type-A”, lead, follow or get out of the way type person. I had little time for low energy people getting in my way. I wasn’t the nicest person to be around. I was like a bull in a china shop most of the time. If Frank had not seen potential in me and taken the time to “influence” me… God only knows where I’d be right now.
Frank was a living, breathing example for me that true leadership could not take place if he did not have influence in my life. The key to his influence in my life was the relationship that was formed as he guided me. His title did not make him a leader, and as I would learn, the hard way, neither would mine.
I have had a number of these types of relationships in my life. Each one has taught me and molded me into who I am today. Who helped mold you?
5 Things Leadership is not…
- Leadership is not Management. Management is all about systems and process.
- Leadership is not Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are great at seeing opportunity.
- Leadership is not Knowledge. Knowledge is about knowing what to do, leadership is about how to do it.
- Leadership is not Pioneering. Pioneers are typically the first to arrive, but did they bring a team along with them?
- Leadership is not Position. A title does not make you a leader.
Leadership is… Influence.
14 Things Leadership is…
I believe that Leadership has 14 key traits… I love the ones that the Marine Corps teaches.
To gain influence
Leaders gain influence by determining to intentionally add value to others every day.
Intentionally ask yourself every morning, “Who am I going to add value to today?” Then go out and look for opportunities to add that value to them. If you have your eyes, ears, mind and heart open, these opportunities will jump out at you.
As you add value, your influence in their lives will increase. They will begin to see you as someone who appreciates them as opposed to devaluing them. Who wouldn’t want to follow a leader who does that?
Back to – Law # 1 – The Law of the Lid