Posts Tagged ‘Influence’
Knowing which alliances to make and which to stay away from will have a tremendous impact on a leader’s success. Read John 7:14-32.
Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the religious feasts held each year to commemorate a great work of God. As Jesus was teaching in the temple the religious leaders were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” Jesus’ answer indicated He received His knowledge from God and that set off a firestorm that ended with people trying to seize Him and arrest Him. Jesus knew which alliances to build and which to oppose. He consistently gathered around Him sinners whose hearts were ready to change and consistently stood against the legalistic practices of the religious leaders.
To truly have influence, a leader must be able to communicate vision and then translate that vision into action. Read John 4:27-35.
Jesus was traveling through a region known as Samaria on His way to Galilee in northern Israel. The people living in Samaria were hated by the Jews because of the way they had twisted God’s commands. Jesus was physically drained from the trip and sent His disciples to purchase some food while He rested near a well. As the disciples were returning with the food they saw Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman, something no Jewish man would ever do. Jesus knew from His conversation with the woman how hungry the people were for spiritual truth and in verse 35 Jesus told His disciples, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Jesus’ actions and words communicated a greater vision of His mission statement and His Father’s will to His disciples.
Effective leaders are not aloof but connect with the people in their sphere of influence. Read John 4:1-26.
Do you have trouble connecting with your team? John Maxwell discusses what he calls “The Law of Connection” from this passage where Jesus connects with a woman from Samaria and changes an entire city.
We don’t even know her name. Other Jews wouldn’t even speak with her. Yet because Jesus was different, He spoke with this Samaritan woman – a snubbed gender within a despised race. Through this personal connection, God reached an entire city. We learn at least eight principles from Jesus’ leadership in John 4:
- Leaders initiate contact (vv1-7). Jesus spoke first. He didn’t isolate Himself even from “undesirables.”
- Leaders establish common ground (vv. 7-8). He connected with her about a familiar interest: water.
- Leaders listen and allow others to speak (v. 9). He knew people like to hear their own voices most of all.
- Leaders arouse interest (v10-15). Jesus built a verbal bridge by making her thirsty for something more than water.
- Leaders take others only so far as they are ready to go (vv. 16-19). Jesus knew He mustn’t go too far. He said enough to make her hungry for more.
- Leaders accept others where they are (vv17, 18). Jesus knew her lifestyle, but never condemned her for it.
- Leaders stick with the key issues (vv. 20-24). He didn’t allow her to get distracted. He wouldn’t divert the focus from the real issue.
- Leaders communicate issues directly and simply (vv. 25-26). Jesus revealed His identity in clear and simple terms.
In your everyday leadership style do you tend to avoid people or connect with people? Jesus, the only perfect leader to ever live, modeled a leader that connected – even with a person others avoided at all costs.
Leaders are simply stewards of the resources God has given them. Read Luke 19:11-26.
During His public ministry Jesus often told stories that illustrated a principles for life. In one of these stories Jesus told about a landowner who, just prior to leaving on an extended trip, gave three men some funds to spend, save, or invest. Each had the freedom to use the money as they saw fit but each would be asked for an account of how they handled the money when the landowner returned. The landowner’s expectation was that these men would be stewards of the money he had given them and, in Jesus’ story, those who had been faithful stewards of the funds were rewarded for their efforts and those who did not steward the funds would be held accountable.
Have you identified those on your team that have the potential to become the leader of leaders? (205-5)
There are times when a leader should make a special investment of time and energy in a few leaders with extraordinary potential to prepare them for special assignments. Read Luke 9:28-36.
Jesus had chosen twelve of His followers to closely mentor, but within the twelve He had three that He trained for special leadership positions. On several occasions Jesus pulled three of His team, James, John and Peter, aside for special input. The Bible does not tell us what “extra” leadership trait Jesus saw in them, but His actions indicate that He felt they would eventually be the leaders of the leaders.
In every leader’s sphere of influence there will be those loosely attached to the leader, those affected directly by the leader’s influence, those who answer directly to the leader, and those few the leader grooms for additional responsibility and greater leadership positions. There is always a possibility that selecting a few from your team for special training could cause envy or some other form of discontent on the team, but it has been my experience that in most cases the potential demonstrated by these few leaders is not only obvious to me but to all their teammates. Deserving leaders receiving special training is much different than favoritism in the eyes of their teammates.
John Maxwell in The Maxwell Leadership Bible writes on this topic in “The Law of the Inner Circle: Jesus Prepared Men to Represent Him”:
Jesus, the ultimate trainer and mentor, did things this way to prepare some key players for future leadership. Watch how He did it:
- Selected a group of key men (v. 28)
- Took them to a special place (v. 28)
- Spent time praying with them (vv. 28, 29)
- Shared an unusual experience with them (vv. 32, 33)
- Invested special time speaking with them (vv. 34, 35)
- Gave them a secret history with Him that prepared them for the future (v. 36)
Have you identified those on your team that have the potential to become the leader of leaders? Are you actively mentoring them to achieve their full leadership potential? Even on a team of leaders hand selected by Jesus there were three that Jesus selected for an “inner circle” to “lead the leaders.” Wise leaders pay attention to Jesus’ actions and examples for developing an effective team.
Exodus 18:25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.