I recently heard a study revealing that even the most introverted person will impact roughly ten thousand people during their life. Therefore, the reality is, we are all leaders. For leaders are influencers and no matter what our roles, we are influencing and impacting others, whether we want to or not. So, the question is – what impact are we making? To help answer this question, it’s helpful to look at leadership at its core, which consistently encompasses at least three primary attributes to the betterment, or bereavement of others:
Influence: There are winds so strong in some areas that the trees that grow there literally grow at a slant. This is a beautiful illustration to the power of influence as a force that can shift directions. Now, consider those who have had the greatest influence on you – those who have helped shape and guide you in life. Even though some influencers may have been negative, we can at least learn from them. However, the good ones are those we reflect fondly on, and we tend to carry their lessons with us. We can have influencers who are close by, or they may be leaders we have never meet, but benefited from none the less. This makes influence an extremely powerful component of leadership – for it isn’t limited to proximity. Therefore, may we always be diligent with the leadership shadow we choose to cast. For we will all influence via our actions, attitudes and articulations. Thus, may we always strive to make the most of our time, and never waste a single moment with a single person (Romans 14:13)
Impact: Think of impact like a rock striking to make ripples in a pond. For impact makes contact and changes its environment. It creates a movement where lives can literally be transformed for the good, or bad. Just think of the greatest leaders throughout time. Why are they considered great? It is because they gave their lives to a purpose that rallied others to a vision. The result was transformation. Never think this doesn’t involve you. For if each of us are leaders because of the influence we make, then think of the impact your life can make with a single person resulting in a ripple affect for generations (Proverbs 27:17). When we begin to see each life as various opportunities to add value to, our focus changes from what we can get to what we can give.
Integrity: I love the word integrity because of the meaning it carries. It signifies unity, for it is derived from the mathematical term integer, which is a whole number. Therefore, do we possess wholeness in all we do, or are we dividers? For example, when we can collaborate, do we choose to compete instead? Or, when we have an opportunity to connect with someone, do we discover we seek to correct them instead? Ultimately, leadership begins and ends with integrity. For it is the foundation from which our influence and impact originate. As a result, leaders of integrity are the ones remembered, for they leave in their wake waves of unselfishness to be richly drawn upon for generations. Thankfully, this legacy can be true for each of us too, but we can not be divided in our devotions. For as it’s been correctly stated, selfishness is always the enemy of significance (Mark 3:25).
Application: “Lead Well To End Well” – Psalm 78:72
Leadership counts, but it takes work, and truly none of us ever arrive to leadership nirvana. For it is a constant process of learning, developing and perusing. Yet, this endless adventure reaps bountiful rewards for those who are intentional about getting better and leaving a legacy of value composed of intentional influence, impact and integrity