As I was recently thinking about the subject of influence, it occurred to me that the most influential leaders in my life have been those people who most genuinely cared about me. This has proven true even proportionally. Although I'd never thought of it in this way before, the more that I felt someone cared genuinely about me, the more influence I gave to that person.
This is a helpful observation for those of you seeking to extend your influence. Is there someone you are trying to influence, but your approaches aren't working? Check your level of genuine care for that person, that group. You have likely noticed the repetition of the word genuine/genuinely. It's a kind of care that cannot be forced. Your influence will not increase if you express care or concern that lacks sincerity. And you can't buy a 20 oz. jar of sincerity on Amazon or anywhere else. But why would you want to influence someone about whom you truly do not care? What would that say about your character?
Now, to the person who thinks this is all too obvious, please understand that just as there are different qualities of care and concern, so there are different qualities of influence. One of my mentors said many times, "Even a blade of grass casts a shadow." You are influencing whether you realize it or not, and whether you care genuinely or not. Are you influencing as effectively as you could? Are you influencing for right and for good?
There is a sweet spot where just being you and allowing that innate care for others to bring about its natural results will bring you to a place of influence. Clearly, this means that the better person you are, the more influence you will have.
A great example of this principle - the best example, is Jesus Christ. No one has ever demonstrated the level of genuine love and concern that He did toward others, and that truth is one reason why He is the greatest influencer who has ever lived. (Matthew 9:36, John 13:1, Romans 5:8, Philippians 2:10-11).
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