My Musings

Monday, April 21, 2008

Leadership 101: Influence vs. Position

Every individual is a leader. In many cases, people don't realize this but in every case this is true. Every person that you influence to do good or bad, you have led in a very small way. Of course, those who have the most influence are most often recognized as leaders but the truth is that every person impacts and leads those around them at least a little bit.

Leading those around us is actually something that we ought to desire. Let me explain. We shouldn't necessarily be looking to be in charge of an organization or a committee, but we should be looking to continually be a greater influence for the cause of Christ in everything that we do. We should actively be looking for ways to very subtly leave an impact on those around us to encourage them to do right.

There is a common misconception that leadership is simply being in charge of people. Being in charge of people, however, is not leadership. It is simply management. A leader is someone who can inspire people to follow based on influence; a manager is someone who commands people to follow based on position.

Leadership, simply put, is influence. Consider Adolf Hitler. Hitler influenced his nation to attempt to take over the world. His leadership ability was off the charts and many scholars have suggested that he was one of the strongest leaders of the twentieth century. Few people know that Hitler was actually elected in Germany! Of course, as Christians, we know that he used every ounce of his influence and leadership to further the cause of Satan. I personally speculate that Hitler's leadership was multiplied by an active demonic force in his life that helped him to sway the masses, but then that is a different topic.

With Adolf Hitler in mind, I have often wondered what a sold-ought, passionate Christian could accomplish if he or she would work as hard to bring people closer to God as Hitler worked to eliminate Jews? If Hitler changed the face of human history based on his influence over Germany with the help of Satan or demons, what could a Christian accomplish for Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit?

You may not lead in the same capacity as a man like Adolf Hitler, but you are still a leader. Every day others see your actions, they hear your words and in a small way they are influenced to do either right or wrong. On the Richter Scale of leadership you may not compare to heads of state, but you are still influencing people. You must determine that you will use your influence with your friends, your spouse, your children, your family, and with anyone that you come into contact with to strengthen their relationship with Christ.

Are you developing your leadership skills? Are you using your influence to move people closer to Christ or farther away?


In Christ,

Nick

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