Leadership is never about doing what is popular or easy.
In the midst of the tragedy that took place in Newtown, CT yesterday, I’m confident a leader will step forward and champion the causes that need to be championed. Serious discussion and legislation needs to move forward regarding guns and mental health in the United States of America. With freedom comes responsibility.
Things that sadden me about the deaths yesterday include the fact that there are 20 children who will never grow up to graduate, marry or have children of their own. The fact that countless lives are changed forever and I can only imagine the heartache that will come in the future families from children who were unwillingly forced to be a part of the events.
At some point we have to agree that enough is enough. And at some point we have to take action instead of just continue to talk.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend about influence (actually wrote a quick thought about it on this blog).
Our talk was specifically about influence and responsibility – how is not defined by the other – and that the two are not equal. Simply because you have been relegated a responsibility within an organization does not equate to influence within the same organization. Responsibility is important. Without the accountability for what we are responsible for accomplishing our jobs would be devalued.
Influence is so much more than responsibility. Influence by definition (dictionary.com):
the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others: He used family influence to get the contract.
the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others: Her mother’s influence made her stay.
a person or thing that exerts influence: He is an influence for the good.
Is your influence expanding or shrinking? One of my biggest strengths over the years has been my sphere of influence. What I have observed is my influence is sometimes diminished depending on how I am viewed in an organization.
Is it better to have a larger role within an organization with less influence? Or should one use the strengths you have and exert your influence?
The conversation with my friend may have helped both of us with the answers. I tend to believe that if your influence is shrinking then something may not be right. Our ability to influence for good is far more important than our organizational status! And on top of that it’s important to remember that our circumstances don’t define who we really are!
Without making this post too long, here are a few thoughts that are bouncing around inside my head the past few days:
Responsibility doesn’t equal influence. Had a really good conversation with a friend this week about this statement. He was spot on in saying it. Too often we confuse the two or even try to equate the two. Both are important but they can be independent of each other. Organizations need both. Sometimes I think I would rather be an influencer.
God answers prayers. I have been praying for a number of years that God would allow me to be a part of a big movement of His. Easter He answered my prayers! Cyndi and I have been volunteering and attending at City Church Tallahassee since January 2011. We have witnessed God grow the attendance at worship services to over 800 on a weekly basis. Anticipating a really bit crowd on Easter, City Church rented the Tallahassee Civic Center. Approximately 4,000 people showed up for the service! Hundreds of people indicated they decided to become a Christ follower that day! Check out the music and the message here http://t.co/3ipubZdG
Here’s a view of that day:
Seasons of Life. We have been in one of the most unusual seasons of life ever the past 16 months! Literally pouring our life, our time, our resources, ourselves into new friends and City Church Tallahassee. It has been a great journey! Is it just beginning? Is it over? Waiting on answers can be a hard thing. One thing we both know – 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11.