Although it is almost impossible to define leadership, I believe that influence is a very close definition. You don’t need a title to be a leader; you need influence. When people are joyful and have a good work ethic, that is a combination for solid influence.
Football is about everyone doing their part. The running back needs to run, the lineman need to block, and the left tackle needs to tackle. What makes great NFL players so great at what they do? They do their job well. Everyone might notice the great run by Lamar Miller, but if his linemen are not blocking properly, he will go nowhere.
John Maxwell once said, “If you can’t influence others, they won’t follow you.” (Maxwell p.20). Sometimes it is not always seen. What do many people overlook when it comes to leadership? Influence, you may hold a high position in the company, but if you do not influence people’s actions you cannot lead them. The people you listen to are the people you are influenced by. Leadership can be picking up the trash at your job, having a genuine smile, or buying someone’s meal.
Another big part of influence is the people we value. This is another way in which influence works. We may be hearing the knowledge we need, but if it comes from someone that doesn’t influence us, we will forget it. What happens is that we can tend to tune people out. We do not value their opinion.
Christ is the best example of leadership. He wasn’t a Pharisee or high ranking officer. He came from a town where someone literally told one disciple, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (1 John 1:46). Yet He was able to inspire people by loving people. He did this one person at a time.