What Is Leadership?
One of my favorite authors and speakers on leadership is John Maxwell. John says “The True Measure of Leadership is Influence– Nothing More, Nothing Less”. He also says “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk”.
Position versus Influence
In a job, we’re taught to respect the “position” and that the position had power over others. It’s easy to have “forced influence” over others when you have a “title” and you can use the “carrot & stick” method of influencing. When I was a “boss” in the corporate world, people listened because if they didn’t, I could fire them and if they did great, I could give them a raise. Once I was in my own home based business, it didn’t work that way. 🙄 Everyone was an independent entrepreneur and therefore, there was no carrot and stick because there was no “job”. Everyone including myself, was their own “boss”, therefore I soon realized that leadership by position is ineffective as an entrepreneur. You can’t be the “boss” of entrepreneurs!
After many years of personal growth, I studied leadership principles by John C. Maxwell and he said “leadership is influence”. Wow! 😯 I thought leadership meant position and power. I didn’t really understand what influence really meant. 🙄 Then he said “he who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk”. 😯 Wow, was I just taking a walk all these years? 😳 As I searched deep inside of me, I realized “yes, I was just taking a walk”. I thought people were following me, however, they weren’t, they were following the “position” I had, and after a while, my influence was gone! 😥
What is Influence?
John Maxwell states “a person of influence has integrity with people”. Integrity is a vital piece to achieving business and personal success. We must “walk our talk” and always “be good to our word”.
Looking back, I have made so many mistakes learning what real influence really meant. I thought it was about “working hard” and achieving because that’s what I had been taught in the corporate world, however, the entrepreneurial world didn’t operate like the job. Influence was something which had to be earned and must be kept, which means I couldn’t just “rest on my laurels”. It was something I wanted to learn and get better at each and everyday.
Here’s a video of my journey with influence:
BEing a Leader is one of the greatest experiences ever! Truly helping people and making a difference in people’s lives is the most fulfilling feeling in the world! How do you feel about being a leader? Do you want to be a great leader? We’d love to hear how you feel about BEing a leader in the comments below.
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