John Maxwell defines leadership as “influence – nothing more, nothing less.” I agree with him. We’ve all been around influential leaders. We tend to know one when we see/hear one. History has revealed influential leaders introducing great things such as peace, service, prosperity, and unity. Other influential leaders will forever be known for destruction, hate, fear, and death.
So how do you become a more effective, influential leader (of course, the positive kind)? Is it the position you rise to that determines your influence? Is it the number of people you have “under” you? Is it the letters after your name (i.e. CEO, CFO, etc.)? Is it the neighborhood or club you live in/belong to?
I recently read a book by Dani Johnson. Hers is a story of starting off life in more than difficult circumstances. She took personal responsibility, focused, and turned her life around. She has spoken in front of hundreds of thousands and has been interviewed in front of millions. She teaches what she did to become successful.
She teaches about FOCUS. “Whatever you focus on is what you get good at.” This is a simple but true statement. Zig Ziglar reminded us how important focus is. He has asked his audiences how they prepare to go on vacation. He outlined how we all make lists, attack those lists, and get so much done in the week or two before we embark on the trip.
He then asked how our work performance would change if we approached it as we did on vacation prep. Ouch! Dani writes this describing her own personal realization about focus:
“Chitchatting with coworkers was not going to make that happen. Sitting at my desk and thinking about what I might do that day was not going to make that happen. Tinkering with different activities that had nothing to do with getting results had to stop….”
We spend lots of things, but when we spend time, it’s gone. When we invest our time, great things can happen.
So, you want to become an influential leader? How are you investing your time? How’s your focus?
“If you’re not faithful with your time, you life spins out of control. Your life gets sucked into destruction. Your life gets trapped in an unproductive cycle that destroys your confidence and eventually leads to depression. However, if you are faithful with your time and if you focus, you will be given more.”
Today, let’s focus. Do the work and get results. Insure the team you’ve been blessed to lead understands their mission today. As a leader, you get results through others. Are you? Focus and help your team focus. It is not a drudgery. Focused performance is full of purpose and meaning.
In your personal routine, add activities that will help you grow your influence. Read. Spend time with quality leaders. Be mentored. Invest your time instead of spending it.
Reach your potential. Grow your influence. We need you to be the influential leader you can become!