Leaders are people in the position to influence others. But what kind of influence are you having on others? This post reminds us to beware and be aware of your influence.
As I was doing research for my book Leading With Wisdom: Sage Advice from 100 Experts, I concluded that my definition for leader was this:
A leader is a person in the position to influence the lives of others.
This definition includes people such as parents, coaches, teachers, and pastors not just bosses/managers. This influence is hopefully positive, but it can be negative. While I don’t think most people set out to be bad leaders, it happens and I have worked for a few and maybe you have also.
Recently, I was at a fundraising luncheon where a woman, Joy Corning, was honored posthumously. I blogged about Joy a while back because she is an excellent example of a Sage and we all need to be looking for role models. Her daughters accepted the award and one daughter made these comments that I can’t stop thinking about. Her words are a good reminder to pay attention because what we say and do matters in good ways and possibly bad.
“We may not know who is listening. We may not know who is watching. We may not know the influence we are having on others.”
To which I might add: We need to live our live as if others are listening–as if others are watching. The old adage is still true: Character is how we act when no one is watching.
It is important to be aware of your influence. And beware of the influence you may be having on others.
What if others always heard what you said?
What if others always saw what you did?
If so, how would you feel?
Are you a good role model for others on how to live with integrity?