Personal Growth

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Someone once told me, "The sharper the ax, the bigger the blow." Therefore, sharpening our leadership can increase the influence we have in the lives of other people.

Each of us can grow in our leadership. Some would say that you have it or you don't. I disagree. Each person has the capacity to be a leader and to grow in their leadership influence.

A Major Mistake

One of the major mistakes a leader can make is overestimating their influence. If all a leader listens to and communicates with are the people who they think like them and personally connect with them, they are greatly limiting their leadership. Oftentimes, social media amplifies this problem.

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Here is what I have found in my life and leadership. The more expansive my leadership role is in life, the more it demands from me to interact and relate to people who are not like me. This motivates me to become a better leader.

In other words, it sharpens my leadership.

3 Ways to Sharpen Your Leadership Influence

1. Determine to make the biggest difference you can make in your life.

This may or may not have anything to do with a position you hold in leadership. Quite honestly, many positionally based leaders forfeit their leadership influence on the altar of self-worship. They are more impressed with the leadership position they hold than using this entrustment as a stewardship given to them by God.

Sharpening your leadership influence begins when you determine to make the biggest difference you can make with the leadership you have been given in your life. Regardless of your leadership position, seize where you are and the opportunities extended to you. Every great leader makes the most of wherever they are at the time.

2. Expand your leadership influence across generational lines.

I am convinced that many people limit their leadership because they are more focused on doing what comes natural to them: Relating and leading people in their own generation. This usually requires little to no stretch or change on their part.

Leadership influence demands more than this from you. In what way?

Learn to lead cross-generationally. Leading cross-generationally occurs when you are able to lead people in your own generation, the generation that came before you and the generation that comes behind you. This is cross-generational leadership.

We all need to lead cross-generationally. When you only influence your own generation, you are limiting your leadership influence and quite honestly, your longevity in leadership.

3. Follow the biblical model for leadership influence.

Jesus, Abraham, David, Moses, Paul and Nehemiah each provide a biblical model for leadership influence. Think about each of them.

  • They led spiritually.
  • They led purposefully.
  • They led cross-generationally.
  • They led past their lifetimes and still do today.

Sharpening your leadership influence is up to you.

You have one shot in your life and leadership; therefore, make it count wherever you are.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the senior pastor of Cross Church, president of the National Day of Prayer and founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry.

This article originally appeared at

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