Authority loves being in charge.
Influence loves to serve others.
Authority is a transactional interaction. Influence is earned through relationship.
Great leaders care so much about their people that serving them isn't something they do, it's just who they are.
Would you rather follow someone into battle that you trust or be watched by someone that will criticize you if you fail?
Pretty ridiculous question.
One that should be a gut-check for anyone in a leadership position.
I've heard it said before that if you are a leader and look behind you to see no one following...you are just out for a long, lonely walk.
The only way to turn a lonely walk into a genuine movement of the people you want to lead? Humility. Walk back towards them. Ask them how you can serve them. Anticipate their needs. See them as people first, not just what they do on your team. What they do is influenced by what you say, how you say it, and how you walk out those words.
When you walk out kind words that are rooted in your vision and core values, it's likely you'll turn around to see an army of people right there with you...ready to conquer the challenges in front of you.
A leader who wants to be seen as the authority and in charge is more concerned about their appearance and need for control. They love a good pat on the back...as long as it's theirs.
A leader of influence wants to serve their team and is more concerned about the needs of each team member, and helping them grow as individuals. The result is a group of people who want to, and ultimately do, grow as a team. They become a family. An influential leader's hands are used to serve their people, not pat their own back.
1. An authoritative figure dictates and talks down to their people.
2. A leader of influence inspires and lifts up their people.
3. Be option #2.