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Understanding Influence

Influence is not stagnant – we can gain or lose influence based on our decisions and how we treat others. To more effectively gain influence, we must first understand it. We can put people of influence into three distinct categories: individual stars, limited leaders, and exponential leaders. Which are you?

Individual stars are people with great skills, but they don't develop others. Someone might be a concert violinist, a power forward, a gifted accountant, a brilliant tech specialist, a talented department head, or a terrific preacher. Those people have talents that some of us could only dream of. But if they don't use their talents to help others learn, grow, and succeed, they're players, not leaders.

Limited leaders have an influence in their own sphere of contacts, but no further. Most business owners can handle about 100 employees by themselves, and most churches never grow beyond about 125 people because that's the limit of the leader's ability to personally connect with every person and each family. There's certainly nothing wrong with having a positive impact on 100 people. That's wonderful, but it's a ceiling for a leader's impact unless he or she learns to develop others as leaders.

Lastly, exponential leaders having a vision for multiplication. Each employee in the company or family in the church isn't an and; it's a beginning. These leaders invest their time and energy in people who show potential, not only to work or serve well, but to catch the vision to keep multiplying multipliers.

So, which are you? Are you an individual star – only focused on yourself? Are you a limited leader – influencing positively but in a smaller capacity than you are capable of? Or, are you an exponential leader? It's up to you.

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