You are a leader. How do I know? because “Leadership is influence: Nothing more, nothing less.” I love John Maxwell’s definition of leadership. It dispels the myth that leadership is reserved for corporations and big businesses. In reality, leadership is a gift, and it’s one that’s given to you. Let me explain.
You are a Leader
Because leadership is influence, leadership is your gift. If your life impacts another person in any way, shape, or form (and I’m certain it does), then God has blessed you with the gift of leadership. Every parent has the honor of being a leader. Children naturally look to their parents to see how they should react. Parents have a God-given influence, which makes them leaders.
My Simple Leadership Story
Let me explain with a story. My daughter Addison will soon be ten months old, and she is learning to walk. Right now, Addison can pull herself to her feet. I love watching her carefully make her way from one end of her playpen to the other. She does this by cautiously holding onto the wall. Over the next few weeks, Addison will learn to let go of the playpen. Soon she will be toddling along on her own.
As the dad of two older girls, I know that there will be many bumps and bruises in the months ahead. Toddlers are clumsy, and learning to walk is not easy. I watched my two older daughters go through this journey. At times, there were tears. There was also a lot of celebration. After all, learning to walk is a big deal!
When Mackenzie and Brooklyn began taking their first steps, there were occasions when they would face-plant on the floor. When this happened, they would look up at me to see how they should react. If I panicked, tears welled up in their eyes, and a flood of emotions followed. If I clapped, smiled, and cheered them on, they would smile right back, pick themselves up, and try it again. My reaction made all the difference.
Parents have an enormous amount of influence over their children. This influence is not earned; it’s a gift from God. If you are a parent, you have influence, and this makes you a leader. Leadership is not a corporate position. Parents, coaches, mentors, teachers, grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins, and friends all extend influence. They are everyday leaders.
How to Act Like the Leader You Are
Whom do you influence? Who looks up to you? Whom does your life impact? If you list just one person, then you are a leader. That’s right; God has bestowed the privilege of leadership upon you. The real question is, “What kind of leader will you be?”
I heard a conference speaker say, “There are two types of leaders, those who generate energy and those who consume energy.”Be the type of leader who generates energy. This has become one of my favorite sayings. Leadership, by itself, is neither good nor bad. Leaders have the ability to tear others down or to build them up. Leadership is not a choice. Yet, all of us have the ability to choose what type of leader we will be. We can influence others to succeed, or we can choose to hold them back. Be a leader who generates energy by passing on your zeal to others.
3 Ways to Lead Well
- Leaders who generate energy radiate enthusiasm. They are quick to smile. Their life exudes energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. This sets the tone for others.
- Leaders who generate energy build others up. Encouraging words, and high-fives, are simple acts of everyday leadership that motivate others to keep going.
- Leaders who generate energy model persistence. When life is hard, leaders press on. Others observe this persistence and gain the courage to keep moving forward too.
The term “leader” is not simply for the CEO and other corporate executives. Leadership is influence. It is a God-given gift. Because you have influence, you are a leader. The example you set will rub off on others. The question is not, “Are you a leader?” Instead, it’s “What type of leader will you be?”
Ray Tucker says, “There are two types of leaders, those who generate energy and those who consume energy. Be a leader who generates energy.” I agree and here is how to accomplish this.
- Smile at everyone you meet.
- Cheer your family on as they move toward their goals.
- Set the tone for love, service, compassion, and kindness in your home.
- Model a grace-filled life.
Remember, you are a leader. So act like one!
Continuing the Leadership Conversation
Each of these simple steps is an act of leadership. For further growth in this area, check out John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership—It’s a classic. In fact, during John’s book-launch seminar in 2007, I first began viewing myself as a leader.
You are a leader. How will you use your God-given gift of leadership? What thoughts would you add to this post? Let’s keep the leadership conversation going in the comments below!