This lesson took me back to my Shihan. He is one of the greatest leaders I have known. In my years studying Karate under him, he taught me great deal of leadership. He’s the leader who develops leaders. He often said that he would rather have a small army of wolves than a large army of sheep. He understands that a person with a lot of influence can make a huge impact on society. When I started leading on my own, Shihan loaned his influence to help me get started. He has been doing the same for many others. He never gives away his influence for free. Studying what John Maxwell taught in Leadership Gold helps me understand why Shihan did that and how I can apply to my leadership journey.
First, let’s understand what John taught about the value of influence:
- Influence exists to speak up for those who do not have influence. The highest call of a leader is to lift up the lives of other people, which include those who do not have influence.
- Influence exists to speak to those who do have influence. Only leader can influence another leader.
- Influence exists to be passed on to others. It takes a leader to raise up another leader.
John taught that giving away influence will not help develop leaders. Many leaders who received John’s influence failed to establish their own leadership. They did not work to develop their own influence nor develop other leaders. John’s teaching reminded me of leaders who gave their influence to me, including my Shihan and John himself. I have been working hard to develop my own influence and making the most out of their influences. What John and Shihan gave me enabled me to start. However, I understand that they did not give it away for free. It was an investment they made in me. They chose carefully those who they would loan their influence to. As the matter of fact, I am accountable and expected to pay back a good return for their investment by being a good leader who will make an impact on society and develop other leaders.