On my drive into work this morning, I heard the following:
“Flawed people can do great things.”
The speaker went on to share an example of King David from the Bible. David was an incredible king. He fought and won many battles. He strengthened his kingdom. He had passionate followers. Bible said that he was a “man after God’s own heart.”
But King David was also flawed. Too often, he took matters into his own hands. He had a wandering eye that led him to seduce a woman and then later had her husband killed in battle. David suffered because of his flaws. But he also did great things in spite of his flaws.
Today, I am grateful for grace that sees my flaws but still allows me to be effective. I cannot ignore my flaws and shortcomings (there are many). I must get better. I must build on my strengths. I cannot make excuses for my flaws. But I must work to do great things. My family is counting on me. My team is counting on me.
I am not disqualified. Neither are you.
I have invested a couple of wonderful days here in Denver at the NACCAP annual conference on the campus of Colorado Christian University. I have met admission leaders from all over North America. I’ve listened to their stories. I’ve helped brainstorm on obstacles they face. I’ve learned so much about their work, their passion, and their dedication to helping students earn a college/university education.
I spoke at 2 seminars yesterday. My topics were: “Adding Value” and “Understanding Your Influence through Self-Development”. My sessions were full, and the participants shared great feedback with me immediately afterwards and then at mealtimes (I intentionally sat with different groups of leaders at each meal).
I am humbled by the written feedback I received. Here’s just a sampling:
“very inspiring and passionate speaker who really cares about developing leaders…” Kelly M.
“he is an excellent, amazing, and engaging speaker.” Angie N.
“incredible, authentic, inspiring, applicable…thank you!” Rachel G.
“this was an unexpected topic at the conference…I’m glad I attended…great, helpful, and out-of-the-box information!” Anonymous
“So practical!” Tim S.
These leaders were hungry to learn and to grow. They are making significant impacts on the lives of future leaders. I am grateful to have been a small part of this conference and to have met such quality people.
I had the privilege of speaking with our branch managers last week on the topic of leadership influence. I want to share here part of that presentation.
John Maxwell defines leadership as “influence – nothing more, nothing less.” If this is true (it is, and I love this definition), then how do you build your influence? Influence must be earned. It will not be merely given to you.
Here are some of my thoughts on how you can build your influence with your team, coworkers, and your community:
- Help your team become better by becoming a better leader. What a great gift you give to your team when YOU work to become better! But how do you do that?
- Expose yourself to materials that will help you grow as a leader (books, blogs, podcasts, articles, conferences, one-on-one meetings). There is a seemingly unending mountain of information available to us all today. Use it! Read it! Listen to it! Immerse yourself in it! Grow yourself!
- Network in your community. Your community is full of effective leaders. Find them. Interact with them. Take them to lunch and ask them good questions that will help you understand what makes them the effective leaders they are.
- Add value to those around you everyday. We all have plenty of opportunities every day to add value to others. Leaders who are influential look for these opportunities. They add value intentionally.
What have you done to broaden your influence? Share your thoughts with us all in the Comments section!