The Authority to Influence
Who gives me the authority to influence someone else? What right do I have as a thirty-something man to impact and influence, say, a 55-year-old man?
These questions are common in my discussion with executives entering into the influence business (those desiring to affect and impact others). The reality is that there are millions of men and women who have strong character and high competency in our world today. Influence, however, doesn’t come automatically to the nice and smart. Influence is both a willingness and a boldness that is more art than science.
There are very few people in our society willing and ready to be bold enough to truly impact and influence other leaders at the head and heart level. To unpack that even more one needs to understand what influence is and isn’t. Influence is the using of trust and credibility to sway, move or inspire someone. The result is usually impact at the head and/or heart level. Influence is not manipulating people into doing what you want them to do.
So back to original questions… what gives a 36-year-old male the right to influence a 50+-year-old male? Our World normally holds the older male as superior to the younger male. Nature holds to the same principles.
However, this is not a discussion of age. It is a discussion of authority or right.
The answer is found in a few statements by the most powerful figure in our history – Jesus Christ.
“All authority has been given to me under heaven and earth, therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” This authority comes to Jesus by God the Father. He then transferred it to us (those that are his disciples) in order to influence others.
There is a great story where Jesus brings all 12 of the original disciples together and gives them the authority to cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead (yes, it is true, raise the dead). He tells them to go to villages and simply tell them that the King is near them. He also tells them not to take any money or supplies, that they will be taken care of by those they intend to bless. The disciples did it. They took off and began influencing. They had the authority.
What gives me, a 36-year-old, the right to influence someone else is the authority given to me to do so. I have the badge and the gun – the authority and the power only because Jesus Christ has given it to me.
That brings out one more point. I have the authority and power to do what? Expand my own region? Increase my bank account? What?
To Heal, Encourage, Raise Up, Inspire and Love
The authority is authority to impact, not abuse.
During any given day I have the authority to heal the sick, both externally and internally. I have the authority to cast out demons and worries. I have the authority to raise the dead, physically and in their hearts. And all Jesus tells me I need to do is tell people that God is here – the kingdom is near. That is it! He does the rest through his power through me and his sanction through his authority.
You have been given the authority. Use it for the benefit of those around you.