In the latest book by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership, they share research showing who people identify as their most influential leader. Options included political leaders, historical figures, business leaders, and celebrities. However, the majority of people did not select famous individuals as their most influential leader; instead, they chose from one of the following categories:
- Family member
- Teacher or coach
- Work supervisor
What’s inspiring about these results?
Aren’t you a family member? A teacher or coach? A work supervisor? Surely you are at least one of those, which means you are in a position to be someone’s most influential leader.
I’m 52 as I write this blog, and I’ve met many inspiring people. Yet, I still think about lessons I learned from my choir, physics, psychology, and band teachers. I still reiterate what I learned from my first manager at Pizza Hut back in 1990. I apply what my mother and grandparents taught me when I was younger.
And here’s a kicker… I’m pretty sure my physics teacher, for example, doesn’t know the impact he made on me. I bet my Pizza Hut manger hasn’t thought about me in decades, even though I continue to ponder the lessons I learned.
Stop reading for a moment and answer this question for yourself: “What leaders have influenced me the most?”
Next question: “Do they know the impact they had on me?”
The answer to the first question is probably someone you know personally, and the answer to the second question is likely, “I’m not sure.”
Isn’t that amazing?
The answers to your questions mean the odds are high that YOU are someone’s most influential leader. You have more influence than you realize.
What are you going to do with that power?
Thanks for reading,
Extra credit: If you have an extra three minutes, handwrite a quick thank you card to one of your most influential leaders and drop it in the mail. You will make their day and feel better yourself in the process.