Leadership and influence go hand-in-hand. Heck, they’re two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other. Lately, however, it seems people have fallen in love with the word “influence.” It’s tossed and thrown around a lot. So much so that I fear good old leadership just may go out of fashion!
But would it? In my opinion, definitely not in our lifetime. Here’s why — there’s only so much you can do if the focus is on building “influence.” A lot of show, sizzle, talk and what not. The result is a lot of noise but not clear signal as to where things are headed.
I understand that is a broad generalisation and certainly doesn’t apply to all influencers. I, however, am not talking about influencers at all but wannabe influencers or “wannabinfluencers.” (I just made that up!) I guess the popular notion is that if you can speak from the stage, post regularly on the socials, do a vLog on the YouTubes, and upload countless selfies on Instagram, you are getting there.
Perhaps that is the case and I might be way behind the curve. Nonetheless, I believe real influence is about doing great work without expecting anything in return. And guess what? There are countless people within our vicinity who’re doing just that. Their very act of selfless service has helped them be influential and build an audience.
Some have stayed so committed to their missions that they don’t have enough time to show, talk, or post on the interwebs. Their followers can do that or perhaps it doesn’t even matter! The point is that almost all influencers are leaders first. And all leaders roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, and get things done. Period.
This might come as a shock to a world that’s obsessed with shortcuts — but there are none. And whoever thought becoming a leader or building influence without getting their hands dirty must’ve been a moron.