How many times that as a leader you wanted to make one thing happen, so much, that you are willing to do almost anything for it- urgently.
A friend once told me, if you walk into a room and you tell everybody else that you are a woman, then you aren’t. If you want to be treated like a woman, then just be one. In other words, if you are who you really say you are, then it should be obvious.
Similarly, as a leader do you have to tell everyone else that they have to follow you? Or is your influence obvious?
As leaders we have lots of methods at our disposal to facilitate cooperation among our teams. We can use the “carrot and the stick” , where we use punishments and rewards; we can appeal to pity; we can use other manipulation techniques or simply resort to bullying, coercion or blackmail. Some of these may sound funny, but if you think about it, at some point, we have done these things ourselves (or maybe still doing it now?); or we have experienced this as a follower.
I think a good leader practices these methods cautiously, and very wisely, without stepping on the morale and ego of individuals or the team. He must make sure to keep things balanced. Further, I believe that the best leader makes his influence obvious by practicing integrity- is he practicing what he is preaching? A hard statement for everyone- indeed, which is why leaders have greater accountability to their superiors and ultimately to God.
Influence is obvious when people you lead are inspired to action rather than being forced into making them. Do they feel like they have a choice? Directs must feel like they have all the freedom in the world and would still rather follow your lead. Forcing your ideas and squeezing outputs from your team might give you results- albeit, short-lived. These quick and dirty techniques can be occasionally effective, but, you might want more than that. If you always resort to imposing the iron hand- then maybe there’s something wrong with how your followers see you as a leader.
Sustaining positive influence is very essential for leaders. Thus, influence must be “obvious” and not forced. How you lead people to action is vital. Action must be inspired and not coerced.
Have you led the people He entrusted to you properly?
Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. [ 1 Peter 5:2-3, NLT, emphasis added]
action, coerced, follow, influence, inspire, obvious, Peter 5:2-3