The Influence Advantage
It take time, hard work and persistence to gain the type of position and authority to start calling the shots in life. Remember when we couldn't wait to grow up? For me, one of the reasons why is because I wanted to finally start telling people what to do, instead of being told what to do. I had vision at an early age, and many of us had it as well. We knew exactly what we wanted and couldn't wait to tell others. But the fact is, we had to wait. We had to hit all those milestones. Teenager, learners permit at 14-16, legal adult at 18, legal drinking age of 21, then able to rent a car at 25 were markers that so many of us looked forward to just to nip at the opportunity to have the authority to be at the top. And yet, there are still many of us who are still climbing to that top spot. Some of us are well into our 40's.
Some of us was not the popular kid in school. We didn't come up with the innovate tech idea and make billions. We didn't have the height and the athletic prowess to "go pro", we only sing in the shower and we realize that our reality show would get cancelled in the first episode. So we keep climbing that ladder, right? We keep getting stepped on because we believe that one day, we will be in the position that no one steps on. When we get there, we'll protect those people from not getting stepped on because we know how it feels. That's the typical feeling of people who have positional advantage. They have the power to do those kinds of things. Some of them follow through, some don't. But this article isn't about bashing people in positions of authority. This is about cutting in line.
How do we get the authority we've always wanted, always knew we could have even as a kid? How do we posture ourselves to authorize others to act, think, or go a certain way without having to wait another 10 painful years? How do we get authority now? This is the Influence Advantage. Influence doesn't require position or fame. It doesn't need any external "greatness" factor. It's true leadership. We've all heard the quote from John C. Maxwell, "Leadership is Influence. Nothing more. Nothing less." So, it's not about getting positional authority, although that's good. It's about gaining influential authority. But how do we get that? I'll tell you this...its still going to take hard work, but we can start accumulating it right now.
There are articles out there about how to gain influence with people. Google and Yahoo! search engines will treat you right. But what I'm about to give you is a shade different. It's the influence I and millions of people have as we have served our country in the armed forces. It's being a symbol of hope. You and I can be symbols of hope to and for others, which gains us instance influence, access and authority. I'm going to talk about, in the next few articles, how to become a symbol of hope, but here the short answer, because I've already given it...Serve. I'm not talking about just doing things for someone. I'm talking about discovering a need and meeting it without any want or desire for accolade or recognition. Hope produces influence and influence is leadership. Leadership comes with authority and authority is what we've always wanted...even as a kid.