The Key to Successful Leadership Today is Influence Not Authority

Hey guys!

Leadership is often viewed as rank or position. People tend to associate leadership with high rankings and positions in businesses or even in volunteer settings. The reality of it is, leadership simply means influence. Leadership is one’s level of influence; not their level of authority. It is possible to be in a high rank or position but not truly be a leader; it is called being a manager. I have put together a list of 5 qualities of a manger and 5 qualities of a leader.

Qualities of a manager:

1. Managers look out for themselves.
2. Managers consider there advancement to be more important than the advancement of others.
3. Managers will get the job done at the expense of others.
4. Managers understand the importance of giving to themselves.
5. Managers are driving by their own success.

Qualities of a leaders:

1. Leaders look out for the people they are influencing.
2. Leaders understand that adding value to others is as important as adding value to themselves.
3. Leaders know that trust should be created before an atmosphere of high productivity.
4. Leaders understand the importance of giving to others.
5. Leaders are driven by the success of others.

In your personal and professional life, do you find yourself being more of a manager or a leader? Be honest with yourself. If you have the qualities of a manager, I encourage you to spend time in prayer, ask God to help you develop those qualities into leadership qualities, not just management. It is possible to be in a management position and still become a leader. If you are seeking to grow in your leadership, I encourage you to ask yourself these questions:

1. What is your calling?

Where is your life taking you; where do you want to go? 2 Peter 1:10 “Therefore, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”

2. What are you doing to invest in yourself?

Your mindset must remain; “Me first then others!“. This sounds contrary to what many believe, but hear me out! You cannot share what you do not know. What are you doing to invest in your personal growth and development? Proverbs 19:20-21 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

3. What are you doing to invest in others?

What do you bring to the table when it comes to positively impacting those around you? Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Leadership is measured by influence; and the level of success that you hold is measured through what you do with your influence. Be driven by adding value to the success of others, not your own. Remember, it’s not all about you. Whatever walk of life you are in, use your God given influence (leadership) to better the world around you.

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.

Am using this medium to appreciate Alex Sanfilippo for the support on this piece.

Photo Credit: Femi Otedola

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