Three Things Young Leaders Can Do To Increase Their Influence

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Many people aspire to leadership. It’s often a good thing. However, many younger leaders get into a position of leadership and influence and then become overwhelmed by the tasks, responsibilities and falter, causing a domino effect that can not only hurt others but eventually cost them their influence altogether. Here are three suggestions for those younger leaders moving into prominent leadership positions.

  1. Find a mentor. Being that you as a young leader have not been down this road before, finding others who have is one of the first things I would highly recommend. This means that you will have to seek out those who may help you, humble yourself to ask for help and then be determined to learn all you can from them when given the chance. Mentors are not really that hard to find but it does take seeking them out. Young leaders need to ask for the time and make sure to come to mentoring times ready and willing to learn.
  2. Ask good questions. When you secure a mentor, make sure that you don’t waste any of their time not being prepared. Come with a definite goal in mind. Prepare ahead of time with good, meaningful questions. Do you homework, knowing what it is that you feel can best help you given your task or responsibility. It will not only make the most of your time but will lead to better engagement and discussion. Stay curious and inquisitive.
  3. Discipline in reading and study. There is a vast sea of information already available to anyone who is willing to take the time to read and listen. From books, ebooks, podcasts, and videos, the wealth of tutelage afforded to anyone who is willing to learn is immense. For any young leader, my advice would be to make sure you take ample time each week to read and study the scriptures of course but also make it a habit to read other source materials. Learn from all walks of life and you will most certainly increase your influence.

What other habits would you suggest for young leaders? Comment and share below.


P.L.A.N. For 2013 pt.3

Now that you have seen how important prayer and learning can be, let me announce what “A” is for: Advance. As simple as it seems, advancing is not as easy as it may sound. When I say advance I mean being able to move beyond the past. Far too often people bring the past into the present and it inhibits the future. I can assure you God is not moving backwards. His kingdom is advancing and He is inviting you to join Him.

In Philippians 3:12-16, Paul deals with this idea of moving forward. If there were ever anyone who could have brought his past with him, it was Paul. Yet Paul says that he had to forget the past and focus on the future in order to advance. Believe me, Satan will seek to get you to focus on past failures and mistakes because when he does, he keeps you from seeing Christ. Notice in Philippians 3:13 that he says he is “straining forward”. This means that he is doing whatever it takes to advance. As Satan approaches you to remind you of your past, remember that Christ has called you to advance, and God will empower you to do it. Look at what Victor Kiam said:

“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” 

Too much of our energies are focused on the wrong things. We invest time, resources, and life looking backward instead of looking forward. Just a quick question: What are you looking forward to in 2013? Knowing the answer to that question will help you advance.

Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. 

Denis Waitley

Psalm 24:16 is a verse encouraging us to move forward.

“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”

How amazing is it to know that through the power of God we are able to rise again? Every time we fall, God encourages us to rise again! This is Gd’s plan is it not? God wants us to move forward, and upward!

May I offer a few truths about advancing so that you can have a clear picture of it.

1) Sometimes moving forward means moving through.

What this means is that there are no shortcuts. We can’t circumvent God. Just as God took the children of Israel “through” the Red Sea, He will bring us through some things for us to advance.

2)Advancing is sometimes painful.

None of use like pain. However pain is a powerful tool in bringing us to the future. You have probably heard the phrase “No pain. No gain.” Anyone who wants to advance in their strength must be willing to suffer through some pain first. Then they become stronger. This is no different spiritually. If we are to be stronger, let’s grow forward.

3) Go somewhere on purpose.

You may want to go somewhere but many people do! The fact is that many people have no idea where they want to eventually end up and therefore just wander through life. This is not God’s ideal for anyone.God has a specific plan, agenda and mission for you to accomplish. The best way for this mission to succeed is to for you to know where you want be in and in how much time you desire to reach that goal.

P.L.A.N. For 2013 pt. 2

In the previous blog I addressed the fact that prayer must be an essential part of any plan and especially a spiritual plan. Today’s thought takes us to the “L” in the acrostic which stands for “Learn”.

“Some people gotta learn the hard way…” Ever heard that? Maybe you lived that? However, you don’t always have to learn that way. There are better and more efficient ways to learn than through experience. Someone once said:

“Experience is expensive and a wise person buys it from The Salvation Army”.

There is no doubt in my mind that if 2013 is to be different and better than 2012, we will all have to be better learners! I would admonish you to learn from anyone and everyone! Make it your ambition to learn as much as you can from others and from your experiences. God doesn’t waste anything. So why should you? But if you are not careful you will brush over or ignore valuable lessons available to you and end up wasting time, resources and most of life!

Paul tells us in Romans 15:4 that the scripture was written for people like you and me. God has given us His word, not just as a rule book but as a journal, a huge resource of people’s biographies which contain invaluable lessons and a treasure trove of wisdom. Don’t go into 2013 without making a commitment to spending more time in God’s Word. If you want things to really be different, spending time in God’s Word is a surefire way to enlighten yourself on God’s plans for you and the world.

No one in his right mind would just venture out into the wilderness without some kind of plan, if not for success then at least survival. If you want to truly have a different year, making a plan for success is one of your greatest tools at your disposal. You can significantly increase your chances of success by reading and learning. Make it a goal to read more this year. Learn from others and listen to others. Dr. Seuss said:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” 

― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Here are a few things I would suggest about reading and learning in 2013:

1) Learn Something New.

There’s much to be said about how our brains get gridlocked in a rut because we never do anything new! We are creatures of habit. However, when we venture out and try something completely and entirely new and different not only does our brains “grow” but we feel more alive! Give yourself a goal of reading, studying and learning a new hobby, language, or sport.

2)Learn From People Not Like You.

Now I’m really pushing you out of your comfort zone! But this is one great way to truly learn. Surround yourself with people who have different interests, at least so it may seem.  Spend time with people from another culture. Go to a different kind of church and see how they do things. Eat some ethnic food. You may find that spending time with them that you are actually not all that different.

3)Learn From Different Teachers.

Everyone learns in different ways. Some people are abstract thinkers while others are concrete thinkers. Some people are artistic while others pragmatic. The point is learn in a new way…not just from new people. Use technology differently. Learn hands on. Learn through a webinar. Learn from your kid. Learn from studying nature. God employs all things and all people to speak of His glory and power and we are remiss if we think He uses only one medium.

Abigal Adams once said:

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” 

This is so true. If we are to learn at all, we must not only pray for God to give us pliable and teachable hearts but we must diligently apply ourselves. Learning is work. Proverbs 22:17 says:

“Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge…”

Applying our heart means that we have to make the effort. If you want to learn more in 2013 you will have to work for it and discipline yourself to not stop all year long!

Learning also requires wisdom. Learning is not just about knowledge, it’s about how to use that knowledge. It’s being able to apply what you know to any given situation or circumstance. As you grow this year in learning and study, continue to pray for wisdom. James 1:5 clearly states that we can ask God for wisdom and He will give it to us. God wants us to learn and grow in 2013 so pray for God’s blessing and learn all you can!