Leadership as Influence

Last Sunday I preached a sermon that some people felt challenged by. Some people even disagreed with me. In this sermon, I suggested that all people who have influence are leaders.

Part of this was inspired by this statement by John Maxwell:

“Leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.”

LeadershipBut it is not just because John Maxwell said it. I really believe this. However, some people pushed back. They said that they may not be leaders, they may be potential leaders.

My pushback would be that they are leaders and they are potentially good leaders. A leader is someone who has followers. Followers are people who are influenced by a leader. Therefore, everyone who has influence is a leader.

I think most people have some sort of influence on others, for good or for bad. Whether it is the school bully or the army sergeant or the babysitter or biology teacher. They are influencing others and that means that they are leading others.

Some people may be more more intentional and some may be having a greater influence, in terms of quantity or quality, but most of us have some leadership role.

We may not want it. We may not like it. But unless we are going to completely seclude ourselves, we are leaders. Our job is to determine what type of leader we will be.

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