Having influence is essential when it comes to leading. I’ve learned there is an unlimited amount of influence a person can have. You have the power to always be growing and increasing in your influence. My personal story shows how anyone can begin to be a person of influence and how they can always be growing their levels of influence.
During my years in High School it would be difficult to identify the skills or traits of a person who had positive influence within me. My self-esteem (previous post) was low, I had no leadership skills, and I had no real direction with my life.
It all changed after listening to a John C. Maxwell leadership CD when I was 19 years old. The CD sparked an interest for the topic of leadership and started me on a journey to grow in the area of leadership. Little by little, as I implemented a personal growth plan: my self-esteem increased, I began to learn leadership skills, and my life purpose started to be revealed. I began to adopt what I was learning at work and in a volunteer position where I served as a youth leader. Even though I did not have an official leadership title, I started influencing the people around me. Over a course of several years my influence greatly increased.
At work my co-workers started coming to me when they had a question about an organizational policy, procedure, or rule. I turned into the “go-to” person when the director of the facility was busy or unavailable. Soon my supervisor began to provide me with opportunities to interview potential employees, train staff, and lead the different treatment team meetings. In my volunteer position, I had the privilege of serving in a leadership role. The more I was able to learn and adopt different leadership skills into my life and in my different roles, the more I was able to influence the people around me.
The influence I had accumulated through my growth and experience allowed me to move into an official leadership position with the County of San Diego. This was after I had moved from Portland Oregon to the San Diego area. In the official leadership position, I was intentional about building trust, relationships, and gaining positive influence with the people I worked with. The years leading up to my official leadership position taught me the skills and type of attitude I needed to have for me to be able to influence and be effective in my leadership role.
This has been my experience of growing, leading, and gaining influence as of right now. I went from a person who had no influence and over the years have grown into a person with larger amounts of influence. I’m optimistic and believe my level of influence will continue to grow and expand.
When it comes to influence, you have unlimited growth potential. You can grow and increases your level of influence your entire lifetime in the main areas of influence. In the next part of this post we will look at several foundational elements that will insure you are always maintaining and growing your level of influence.
Questions: What has been your story of having and gaining influence? How do you intend to grow and maintain your influence with the people around you?
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