"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Proverbs 22:1
Welcome to the latest in our Championship Series of blog posts concerning the qualities of a true champion. This is the week of Super Bowl XLVII. What better time to talk about what makes a real champion than right now? Today's champion topic is Influence.
Champions are by definiton leaders. A champion is a leader in his or her chosen field of endeavor, whether it be sports, finance or media. And the best one-word definition of leadership is influence!
Webster defines influence as the power to affect, sway, or modify. True champions affect, sway, or modify the way individuals train, perform, conduct themselves, and manage their personal brands. Influence is why champions are so highly sought after, and so highly paid, by companies to endorse their products.
Michael Jordan wore a suit everyday, even when going from the team bus to the locker room because he knew people were watching him. MJ always wanted to look dignified in the eyes of his fans. He played every game as if it were his last because he didn't want to disappoint his fans.
Jordan's influence has been truly phenomenal. The list of those he has influenced, who view him as a role model, is beyond extensive, both inside and outside of sports. It reads like a Who's Who. Steve Lavin, then UCLA basketball coach, adopted 23 principles of excellence for his team in honor of MJ's uniform number 23. Indeed, champions are the role models' role model!
Michael Jordan had tireless practice habits and a relentless work ethic. When your best player puts everything on the line day in and day out, night in and night out, his teammates can't cut corners and not give their very best. It's called leading by example! That's what Jordan did for Chicago and that's why the Bulls won so many NBA championships. Champions lead by example, and in the process they exert a powerful influence on all those around them, propelling them to higher levels.
People follow champions because they admire them. Champions do extraordinary things, far above the everyday, mundane, and mediocre. They do heroic things. People love heroes and love winners. They aspire to be heroic and winners, themselves! That's why they identify with champions, and why some even go so far as to live vicariously through them!
The greatest example of a true hero, a real leader can be found in the person of Jesus Christ, who was without sin, and selflessly sacrified himself for the benefit of others. It can be said that Jesus Christ is the most influential person who has ever lived! When you Google Jesus over 600,000,000 results are returned! His example has influenced countless numbers of individuals around the globe over time to live better, more fulfilled lives by faithfully seeking to follow his manner of living, and living by his words.
Jesus gave the world a new definition of leadership - service! He modeled the Servant Leader. Jesus stated, "whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant." Matthew 20:26. Indeed, understanding and applying the concept of service is the key to truly influencing others on a deep level. Serving others is, in fact, the true mark of a real leader. Jesus laid down his life so that we might be freed from captivity to sin, and to live life more abundantly!
To be a true champion you must first understand and then skillfully apply the concept of service to others. And the source of that sincere desire to serve others is found in love - the desire to love one's neighbor, one's fellowman! That is the key to real influence. That is the mark of a true leader, the mark of a real champion!
What examples of a "Servant Leader" can you give?
5 Tools That Help Measure Your Social Media Influence - Social Media Examiner
A Closer Look at Servant-Leadership - Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary
Beyond Klout: Better Ways to Measure Social Media Influence - ReadWrite
Rediscovering Servant Leadership - Enrichment Journal
Social Influence - Wikipedia
Sport Celebrity Endorsements - Celebrity Endorsement Ads
Ten Characteristics of a Servant-Leader - Expert Project Management
Until next time,
Hi! I'm Kenneth Lillard, author, ordained minister, and motivational speaker. This blog is an expression of some of my thoughts and opinions. I'm glad you stopped by. Hope you'll share some of your comments while you're here. Be Blessed!