Influence. We all like to have it. But how can we be a person of deep influence? Leary and Armin, talk about that with T.J. Addington, author of the new book Deep Influence.
T.J. Addington is a Senior Vice President with the EFCA (E-Free Churches of America denomination) and the leader of ReachGlobal, the international mission of the EFCA. He has served as a pastor, consultant and denominational leader and for the past 25 years has been advising church and non-profit leaders on healthy leaders, governance and mission.
He is the author of five books: High Impact Church Boards; Leading From The Sandbox; Live Like You Mean It; When Life Comes Undone; and his latest release, Deep Influence.
Leary and Armin caught up with T.J. to talk about some of the ideas in his latest book, Deep Influence. Tim offered the following quote from his book as this episode’s Inspire Me quote.
“The preponderance of books on leadership focus on what good leaders do, how they act, or the strategies they implement. Some of these books provide real insight into good leadership principles. But these are not the most important issues in leadership, nor are they where leadership starts. Great leadership starts deep inside and the best leaders belong in a category set apart. Their uniqueness lies not first in their ability but in a set of intentional practices that they nurture. Those practices combined with leadership ability make the difference between the average leader and a leader with deep influence.”
What’s inside is what comes out. Good leadership comes out of a deep reservoir of their hearts and minds. Poor leaders, on the other hand, lead out of insecurity and their own personal agendas. To become a leader of deep influence, you must pay attention to this inner world.
Leadership training often focuses on technique–skills–rather than the more profound issues about heart: What is my motivation for leading? Am I leading from a place of health, or from my shadow side? Skill must be combined with depth of character inside.
People of deep influence are rare because it’s far easier to focus on activity–and the recognition we receive from it–than to focus on the unseen practices that develop deep influence. Good leaders are more reflective, they take the time to think deeply. And they seek to understand themselves and others by asking more and deeper questions. These are the unseen practices that make a leader a person of deep influence.
T.J. began to cultivate these practices of deep influence in his own life as he began to focus on his unique gifts, rather than trying to do everything. He draws a parallel between the use of time and our finances and thinks about his priorities as “time checks” that he writes. Every time he makes an agreement to do something, he is writing a time check, except unlike a financial account, checks can only be drawn on this account. There are no deposits of time.
The level of our emotional health (our EQ) determines how much influence we can have with others. If we are defensive, we shut down dialogue. If we have to have our own way, we are less likely to lead teams that learn to work together. We become aware of our EQ through interaction with others. When we open up with others and discuss how we interact with them, we learn how to improve our EQ.
Leaders that lead from their shadow-side have low EQ. They are overly influenced by the issues that come from their family of origin, protection of their areas of vulnerability, or the flip-side of their strengths. Since it can never be eradicated, understanding the shadow-side of our leadership allows us to manage it in such away to lead in more healthy way. Unless we understand ourselves, we cannot really understand others.
T.J.’s Challenge Me challenge was to become a person of deep influence. Start a conversation among your friends about how you lead and respond to them. Read T.J. new book and begin to implement the unseen practices mentioned.
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