Effective leadership and the 8 levels of influence. Leadership starts with you and requires you to lead by example and walk in it. It also involves creating a leadership culture. At every level, you have a certain measure of influence.
Even though the Holy Spirit speaks expressly, sometimes it takes us a minute to figure out what He is saying. That’s what happened to me when the Holy Spirit started talking with me about creating a leadership culture in our ministry. At that time, all I knew was we didn’t have enough leaders. The few we did have were overworked and on the verge of burn out.
See, up until that time we weren’t focused on training leaders. We were focused on blessing believers. The transition into apostolic ministry challenged our perspective and caused us to take a hard look at our ability to equip people and raise leaders. But the more we examined our capability to train leaders the more dismal the testimony. We were failing miserably.
We were good at blessing people but we were doing a poor job at raising them up to do anything. We were stuck just having “good church.” As a result, our environment was full of followers and servants, but few leaders. As you study leadership, you will discover this difference, followers watch you and servants help you – but it’s leaders who get things done.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING ENVIRONMENT
Shortly after this encounter with the Holy Spirit, I started reading as many leadership books as I could find. Creating a leadership culture meant becoming a better leader myself and placing an importance on leadership training throughout our ministry. After formulating a leadership training environment we began learning the language of leadership, discovering the value of self-development, and, over time, leadership dynamics kicked in as we began to think and act like leaders.
Creating a leadership culture doesn’t happen overnight. You may find it interesting to know that I asked the Lord how long it would take to create a leadership culture in our ministry and He said, “Ten years.” Wow! So in our case, we have a long-term strategy for implementing a leadership culture. We have a long way to go but at least we’re moving in the right direction – and we’ve made noticeable progress.
LEADERSHIP IS INFLUENCE
You have probably heard it said that leadership is influence. But how much influence as a leader do you really have? During a recent workshop in our ministry titled, “Developing the Leaders Around You” based on John Maxwell’s book by the same name, I asked those in training, “Why do you follow your leader?” Their answers were extremely interesting and quite revealing. We learned those who attend your church or place of work respond to you different on different levels. We could say that you have various limits to your leadership influence. With that in mind, let’s review eight levels of influence that we discovered in our leadership training session.