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I'm An Influencer

 “The true measure of leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.” John Maxwell.

Growing up, I struggled with being a leader. I hoped that people would follow my leadership. But I struggled to believe that people should follow me, and as a direct result, very few people ever did. I often found myself being the one who followed others. On rare occasions, when somebody else wouldn't step up to be a leader, I would be able to step into the role, and others would follow me. 

There is one place, however, that I found it very natural to lead.

I didn’t feel insufficient as a leader. And I felt very confident that I had value to add to everyone that was there. I wasn’t looking over my shoulder to see if someone else would step up and take the lead. Not because I had a title. Not because someone else wasn’t stepping up to the plate. Not because I wanted it. I led because it was the most natural way for me to add value to others. 

The place was a church camp. Ever since I can remember, I have been drawn to church camp. Years before I was old enough to go, I remember looking at the brochures during Sunday school and dreaming about how awesome it would be to go to camp. I would always tell my parents I could go to camp in two years… I could go to camp next year… this summer, I get to go to camp!

By the time I was 24 years old, I had spent one year of my life working at summer camps. As I reflected on that statistic, I realized it was a significant amount of time to have invested. What about summer camps made me want to be engaged beyond being a camper? What about summer camp kept drawing me back to serve?

I gained a lot of value as a camper growing up.

Other people demonstrated that I had value in my life. My counselors showed me the power of pouring into someone else’s life. Because of their impact on my life, I wanted to do the same for other campers. 

When I became a counselor, I found great joy in helping campers see their value in themselves. But I also found something that eluded me outside of that environment. I discovered that people looked for me to lead. Inside the camp environment, I didn’t find myself looking around to see who was going to lead. I knew it was going to be me.

Why would being in a camp change my leadership influence?

How could leading at a camp be so much easier than every other aspect of my life? For starters, I had a deep belief in the impact that camp could provide because I have experienced that impact firsthand. Secondly, I wasn’t concerned if others disagreed with me. We would find common ground and adjust according to what was best for the campers. But perhaps most importantly, I understood that leadership wasn't just about guiding campers—it was about adding value to everyone's lives, including my co-counselors. By recognizing and embracing my ability to positively impact others, I unlocked the door to influence and leadership.

So, if you ever find yourself questioning your ability to lead, remember this: believing in your capacity to add value to others' lives is the first step towards becoming a leader. Trust in your unique strengths, nurture relationships, and lead with authenticity. Before you know it, you'll be making a difference wherever you go.

Go, outlive your limits!


P.S. It would be my honor to serve as your coach. Please contact me to set up a discovery session!

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