This post was written by Mel Lawrenz
Here is the first of a series we’re calling “Stories of Influence.” While not an example of “spiritual influence,”Albert Einstein’s work helps us understand the concept.
For much more on how to grow your influence in life and work, see the resources at The Influence Project.
Time’s annual list of the most influential people includes social activists, leaders of industry, heads of state, scientists, artists, and religious leaders. They are leaders who make things happen, but always because there is some driving idea or ideal underlying what they do. That is where the power lies. Influencers are people who have a grasp of something under the surface, something hidden, which becomes the driving force of change in the world. Influence is power. Awesome power. With it some influencers destroy, others save.
And all influence comes out of the core reality of who the influencer is. People whose foundation is their faith in God have an extraordinary opportunity to do something more than influence people and organizations from their personal opinions, preferences, and goals. They can connect faith to their influence, whether their work is in the realm of business or the church or education or any other endeavor. They want to connect them because they know that is the way to effect enduring change, and they believe God is the ultimate influencer.
Today we need to look at the dynamics of spiritual influence as it is expressed in leadership. Now there is nothing new about linking influence with leadership. Many definitions of leadership in recent years include the idea. But the discussions often do not penetrate to the deeper meaning of influence. When used most simplistically, influence means persuading people, or selling them, or getting them to march to a certain drumbeat.
A better concept of leadership includes what happens both deep on the inside and on the outside. Influence is about the hidden forces that make visible results that have an enduring effect. It ties into the core spiritual realities believers know about because they understand the Creator of the universe to be the underlying power and influence behind all things good. Leaders who want to effect enduring change will take the time to understand the power and subtleties of influence. They are not content just to see things happen; they want to see people, organizations, movements, and even culture itself shaped in ways that last for a lifetime.
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2012 at 6:19 am and is filed under Spiritual Influence.
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