How To Be A Better Leader And Influence More People

Any great leader doesn’t lead for his or her own personal benefit. The reason they lead is to inspire others to greatness. Great leaders lead people to reach their full potential. It’s not the hope of gain, or wealth, or fame. God ordained, God inspired, God called leaders are vital in your life.

But here’s the deal…

As much as you and I need a leader in our life…As much as we need to follow someone…We also need to realize that everyone leads someone, somewhere.

That means that you are a leader. You have influence over someone. Even if you’ve never given an idea like this much thought…it’s still true. If you influence one person you’re a leader.

So…How can you be a better leader and influence more people?

The answer is simple…with your words.

Words are like building blocks in our life. We usually end up being the person that we talk about becoming. That means if your words are constantly negative, hateful, prideful, or full of envy…you’ll probably become that kind of person. The opposite is also true.

If your words are full of life, full of hope…If they are helpful, and encouraging words…More than likely you’ll end up being a person like that.

Why is that important in the context of leading people? When you lead people you’re not the only one being influenced by your words…they are too.

  • If you’re a parent leading your children…they are being influenced by your words.
  • If you’re a pastor leading a church…the people there are being influenced by you’re words.
  • You’re wife or husband is being influenced by your words.
  • Friends and family may even be influenced and impacted by your words.

With all that in mind…Getting your words right seems pretty important.

It’s not just a positive talk thing either. Don’t dismiss this as just another motivational rant…it’s not. Scripture says that life and death are in the power of our tongue.

Proverbs 18:21

21 The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

That’s why the words you choose and the words you use are so important.

You or someone else will always pay for your words.

In fact, words are one of the costliest things you use everyday. In reality…words are not cheap. They always cost someone. Since words seem inexhaustible…we use them often, we use them carelessly, and often we use them to our detriment or that of others.

To be a better leader, you need to change the way that you use and think about words.

Here’s three ways to use words that will impact your leadership:

1.) Use life giving words.

As a believer in Jesus I think the words you speak are to be a reflection of the Jesus that lives inside of you. God gives us new life. God spoke the world into existence with nothing more than words. He puts the power of life and death in our tongue. Use that power to bring life, to give life, and to inspire life in those you lead.

It’s easy to speak out negative, discouraging, or hate-filled words. Those seem easy and plentiful. But why not change the way you speak and make the intentional effort to raise people up, build people up, and encourage people with your words. Life giving words empower people. They cause others to reach their full potential. Don’t you want that for your kids? Your spouse? Your church? Your family and friends? I believe you do. So speak life.

2.) Use good, helpful, and encouraging words.

There’s a scripture in the book of Ephesians that talks about this…

Ephesians 4:29

29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Language is part of communication. Communication is a tool used to impart something to someone else. What are you imparting to others as you speak? Do your words have good, desirable qualities? Are the words you speak to people helpful? Do you encourage the people who hear you?

The people you lead, whether family and friends, or even in your business, are trying to build their life. As their leader, they’re using your words as building blocks. Are the building blocks that you provide through your words going to be stable and strong for others to build their life on? Here’s the deal…your words matter more than you might think.

3.) Use grace filled words.

Cut people some slack! Usually the people around you are trying their best to do what’s right, to follow instructions, or to live the life they are supposed to live. Give’em some grace.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to get some grace when you needed it the most? Remember your last big mistake? Didn’t you want understanding and grace? Sure you did…so give grace away to the people you lead.

Now…I promised you that you’d influence more people if you use your words right. Here’s why I think that’s true. Because people gravitate towards positive, life-giving people. In fact, they lend an ear to those types of leaders. Think about the leaders, or teachers, or friends that you’ve loved most throughout your life. I bet they’re the ones that seemed to bring the most value to your life. Bottomline is people want to follow people who raise them up, build them up, and encourage them…and you know what? I believe that you are capable of that. You were designed to lead and influence someone.

Lead with encouragement. Lead with grace. Lead with your words.

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Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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