Each of us has a sphere of influence. If you are a parent, you have influence over you children. If you are an employee, you have influence over your co-workers. If you are a friend, you have influence over your friends.
We often tend to think of people with influence having a special talent, ability, status or position. However, some of the most influential people in life are in the background and behind the scenes. They are far from the limelight. You won’t see them in the headlines, but their influence is felt nonetheless. They are busy making a difference in their neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and in their everyday work and relationships. It is not because of their position or paycheck that they have influence. They have influence because of their life and how they live their life. People esteem and respect as leaders because they lead by example.
Most of us know how to follow and we do it quite well; however, seeing yourself as a leader and aspiring to be one~ well that can be a different story. That requires a little more effort, thought and purposefulness about they way we do life and the choices we make. For example, when you lead with your life, you have to be willing to march to a different beat, even an unpopular one. It could mean doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do. It is being honest when everyone else tells you to take shortcuts and the easy way out. When you lead with your life, you have convictions and are driven more by those convictions and principles than popularity or “coolness.”
When you lead with your life, you treat people differently whether people notice or not. You offer kindness, respect and honor even when you don’t feel like it. When you lead with your life, you realize that all your choices matter and not just the public ones. You also realize that the people are not commodities to be stepped on, manipulated or used for your advantage. When you lead with your life, you realize that at the end of the day integrity, your word and honesty still matter.
The world is in desperate need of leaders who lead by example, who lead with their life and not just because of platform, position or authority. We need people like this in every sphere of society from the ordinary and mundane places to our classrooms, businesses, communities and even in our homes.
The truth is you don’t have to have a huge platform, social media presence or stage to lead. You can lead by the way you live your life from day to day. You may be one person but still others are watching. Your children are watching you. Your friends, neighbors, and co-workers are all watching. Whether you realize it or not, your life is constantly on display.
The question is not so much whether you and I have influence because we do. The question becomes how do we best utilize the personal influence that we already have? How are we at leading with our lives?