- August 23, 2018
- Posted by: Phillip Van Hooser
- Category: Leadership
Leadership influences — who, or what, has most influenced your perspective and practice of leadership? I was recently asked that question. The follow up question was the more important and most challenging. Read on.
Leadership Influences — Who Are Yours?
Specifically, the question was: “What or who has most influenced your perspective on and your practice of leadership?”
Like many people, over the years I’ve been impacted and influenced by a great number of leaders. Many of them, I would argue most of them, nobody would ever know if I called them by name. Family members, teachers, coaches, past bosses, and many times people that I didn’t even have a long-term affiliation with, but I met at a particular moment in my life and learned something exceptionally valuable from them.
There are others, of course. You can study leaders through the work that they’ve done, for example, Peter Drucker, if you’re a business student. In the field of theology and ministry, there are many, many people that you would be drawn to that would be effective leaders for your particular circumstance or situation. I don’t think it’s necessarily a person as much as a readiness to receive what someone else is willing to give.
For me, the greatest leaders are the ones that took an interest in me, who truly were concerned about me, who wanted to help me move to the next level, whatever level that may have been from the entry level all the way up to a higher level, but they were willing to work with me to advance my cause because that was their cause. Those are the ones that have been most effective leaders for me.
They were willing to work with me to advance my cause because that was their cause. Those are the ones that have been most effective leaders for me.
I find it interesting that this blog title, “Leadership Influences” is a adjective/noun representing people and philosophies — while it can also be read as a subject with a very important, very active verb — INFLUENCES. We have people and philosophies that influence our leadership approaches. In turn, that leadership — your leadership and my leadership — influences greatly those around us.
So while we’re asking ourselves who our leadership influences are — maybe we should also ask ourselves the deeper question: who and how is my leadership influencing others?
Next Question (and it’s a big one): What are the foundational leadership principles? That one might take some time!