• Jenny Christiansen

Under the Influencer

Updated: Aug 18, 2018

"Leadership is Influence. Nothing more, nothing less." -John Maxwell


John Maxwell is a person of both influence and impact. His books and speaking appearances have encouraged people to go from where they are to the place they want to be as leaders.




As a leadership instructor, painted "Leadership is Influence" on my wall in my classroom. I have to say that phrase impacted my students more than anything. I never dreamt it would, but in the end, I realized it was a conversation starter, writing generator and an overall challenge to examine how these students lead their own lives and how they might lead others in the future.


When you hear the words "Under the Influence" it certainly bears a negative connotation, but I am really challenging you to think about is how influence affects you. We cannot deny that there are profound powers of influence woven into our lives. How we lead and how we have "been led" bear a significant impact on us.


What has influenced us in the past and what is shaping us now affects and guides the trajectory of our lives. It is a culmination of experiences and feelings that a part of what we become, and shapes where we are going in the future. We are capable of placing those influences into categories like amazing, devastating, life-altering, harmful, fulfilling, life-altering or life-giving.


It is also essential to reflect on who those influencers were. From parents to teachers, friends, neighbors, co-workers they all represent a stroke on the canvas of life. Some of the forces were catalysts to accomplishment and joy, others to defeat and misery.


There is power in choosing what influences us. We can establish a mindset to decide what makes us grow and become our very best self. We were not created to live sub-par lives, driven by negative influences OR influencers. Find great ones, and push toward the great future you were designed to have!


What was your greatest influence? Who was your best influencer?

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