I was recently having breakfast with my two year old. We had some music on, and I involuntarily began tapping my feet. The next thing I knew my son slid out of his chair so his legs could reach the floor. He started tapping his feet, with a big smile directed my way.
First, I felt the joy of it: he wanted to do what Daddy was doing.
Then I remembered the weight of it: he is imitating me. Everything I do is answering the “this is what you do in this situation” question for him.
If you’re a parent, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Your young children imitate you. It’s how they learn to make sense of the world. Eventually they will become more exposed to alternate ways of doing things. Oftentimes they’ll push against how they were initially taught, but what they learn in the beginning sticks in a powerful way.
Your influence at work is like that.
If you are in a position where you have influence over people new to your company, it is especially powerful. It’s true whether someone is new to the company, new to the team or new to the service.
They might not imitate you like a toddler does his Daddy, but they’ll be strongly impressed upon by you. They will look to understand how to navigate this “company world” successfully, and their basic mode of operation in achieving success can be largely affected by what they see in you.
At WorkMatters we talk about influence as being intentional with your impact. You are going to have impact – that is implicit in the definition. The question is, how intentional are you?
Here are a few ways to consider intentionality in your impact so that you can be a leader worth imitating:
- Consider your sphere of influence – The first step in being intentional is knowing who you will naturally impact. Who do you have influence over by virtue of position, repertoire, work groups, etc.?
- Accept responsibility – God has put you in the position to influence those in your sphere. You. That’s not a responsibility you can leave to someone else.
- Let Christ influence you – The closer you are to Christ through Scripture and prayer, the more he will influence the actions of your everyday life. Let your influence be an extension of his work in you. You will mess up (every parent knows this!), so you must let your confidence be the perfect saving work Jesus has already accomplished for you.
I’m a young parent, but I know how gratifying it is to know that I have stewarded my influence well.
Let’s steward our influence well at work today. Let’s be leaders worth imitating.