4 Keys for Expanding Leadership Influence in 2014
Are you in the process of planning out your goals for the New Year? If so, you are in good company as many leaders across the globe are doing the same. In your plans are you thinking about how you are going to expand your leadership influence? If not, you should be. Leadership influence can be interpreted as meaning a variety of things. Whatever those differences may be among leaders, making a difference matters.
Here are 4 keys for expanding your leadership influence.
- Clarify Your Calling
Well-intentioned leaders sometimes don’t spend enough time clarifying the greater purpose for their leadership. Mark Twain once wrote, The two most important days in a person’s life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
Knowing and understanding why and how God has uniquely created you and where He is calling you is vital for dynamic leadership. If you’re not sure what this means to you, try asking yourself the following two questions:
- What is my best understanding of who God has created me to be?
- What He is calling me to do in this season of life?
Spend time in prayer. Ask God to deepen your understanding of how your calling fits into His purposes. In the wise words once spoken by King Solomon, If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He is doing they are most blessed (Prov. 29:18, MSG).
- Exercise Healthy Leadership
One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to make sure you are exercising healthy leadership. Far too often leaders fall short in this area. Most leaders have the best intentions, but sometimes blind spots, character flaws, and distractions cloud their vision, diminishing the health of their leadership.
Emotionally and psychologically healthy leaders keep their emotions, thought life and behavior in check. They recognize when they are out of balance or need some help. Healthy leaders recognize when they are struggling in areas. They take action. They don’t hide, manipulate or mask the problem. They face it head on.
If you are aware that there are some areas you need to grow in to become a more influential leader, then good for you. This means you’re human. None of us are perfect and we all struggle at times. Determine now that you are going to do something about it. Then come up with a plan.
If you’re not sure how healthy your leadership is, then try running through the following checklist of healthy leaders. If any area needs adjusting or fine-tuning, then let 2014 become the year to address the area.
Emotionally and psychologically healthy leaders:
- take responsibility for their lives
- find constructive ways to deal with problems
- have effective coping methods for dealing with stress
- take care of themselves and the needs of their families
- demonstrate flexibility and resiliency
- enjoy life and exercise contentment
- balance work and leisure time
- have a positive outlook
- practice gratitude
- Be Intentional About Growing Leaders
If you’re a parent your primary leadership should consist of doing all you can to grow healthy kids. In this day and age, this is no easy task. Many forces will try and undermine your efforts. Be prepared. Be present. Be proactive.
If you’re a leader in an organization, business or ministry become intentional about expanding and growing those whom you lead. Encourage and help develop people by coming alongside of them. Recognize that God has placed you in a position of leadership and/or authority. He has a role for you to play.
Essentials for growing leaders and expanding leadership potential:
- create an ethos of leadership
- be committed to their growing process
- ask key life and leadership questions
- recognize their strengths and help develop them
- be generous with opportunities for new and emerging leaders
- allow others to have a voice
- be encouraged by the talents of others, not threatened
- leverage people’s strengths for the greater purpose
- Stay the Course
If you know what God is calling you to and He has placed you in a leadership position have the courage and wisdom to stay the course. Many leaders give up too soon. Keep in mind God’s timing is not our timing. Faith is about trusting God with our lives and future. If God is calling you to something He will give you everything you need to accomplish His plans.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.
May 2014 be our best year so far!