PurposePursuit

INFLUENCE

influence

You may be familiar with the cliché that leadership is about influence and not title. I believe this applies to purpose too. As you pursue God’s purpose for your life, it is expected that your influence grows as the sphere of your impact increases. But then, I think it is necessary to point out that influence really is an inevitable consequence of our social existence. Whether or not we live for God’s purposes, we will have some influence on the people around us. I recently read the story of a man who once dreamed that he was in hell. When asked to give an account of what he had seen—if there were flames there, and suffering there, and wrecked and malign creatures with whom he had to associate, and if the place resounded with oaths of blasphemy—he said, “Yes, but there was something far worse than that: I was compelled to face my influence. I knew that I deserved punishment, for I had scorned and rejected Jesus Christ; but my sorest pain was to see what the effect of my life had been upon others.”

It is important therefore, that we understand the dynamics of influence so that we can be intentional about the positivity of our influence and the purposefulness of our impact. Someone narrated the story of the missionary Dr. John Geddie who went to Aneityum in 1848 and worked there for 24 years. On the tablet erected to his memory, it was inscribed that “When he landed, in 1848, there were no Christians. When he left, in 1872, there were no heathen.” That is the kind of influence God expects from our lives and such can only be cultivated with intentionality.

I want to share very briefly some thoughts on how I believe we can grow our influence intentional. There are at least three things we must do to be able to lead purposefully and with greater influence.

  1. CLARIFY YOUR MESSAGE

Someone has observed that the opinion of each of us represents at least one four-billionth of the world’s opinion. What this means is that what we say has the potential to become the reality a large number of people. This is why we must be intentional about the message we preach in the pursuit of our purposes. What is your message? What is the transformation you expect to happen by the sound of your voice?

  1. CREATE YOUR PLATFORM

There are several reasons why this point is important. The word platform itself is a metaphor for a stage on which you are elevated above the crowd. It makes it possible for everyone in the audience to see you and be influenced by you. Thus, a platform provides visibility and helps to amplify your voice above the roar of the crowd. If you will become a person of positive influence, you have to intentionally create a platform by seeking to understand the various ways you can reach out to your target audience. Today, the social media is a very powerful for influencing people.

  1. COMMUNICATE YOUR MESSAGE

It is not enough to clarify your message and create a platform for you to share your message, it is important that you crown the process with consistent effort to communicate your message. You have to be decisive about this. Don’t create a blog and never write. Don’t open a twitter account and never tweet. You have to be disciplined enough to commit yourself to consistently communicating your message on the platform you have created.

Bobby Gilstrap rightly instructs us to never minimize the power of influence for either good or evil for long after we are dead and gone, our influence will live on. This is the more reason why we have to be intentional about clarifying our message, creating a platform and consistently communicating our messages. I’ll close with the following poem. Its source is unknown. I hope you find it as instructive as I did:

My life shall touch a dozen lives before this day is done;
Leave countless marks for good or ill, ere sets the evening sun.
This is the wish I always wish, the prayer I always pray:
Lord, may my life help other lives it touches by the way.

Blessed?

Let me know in the comment section.

You matter to me always.

PurposePursuit

RELEVANCE

relevance

I once read an interview granted by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina in which the former Editor-in-chief of the Sun Newspaper discussed very passionately the future of the News print industry. He considered the challenge the industry may have to face considering the changing times and the invasion of Online News media and other very competing channels of news dissemination. As I ruminated over Mr Adesina’s words on this issue, I realized that change is perhaps the most certain feature of all human experiences. The key to thriving across times and seasons is to find a way to be relevant in spite of the changing times and seasons. I understood this principle better when I pondered on the scenario of the woman on the street of my office from whom myself and my colleagues used to buy boli (roasted plantain) and groundnut but who has now moved into the Corn and coconut industry since the season of plantain has long come and gone.

I love how Ernest Agyemang Yeboah illustrates the idea of relevance when he said the same tongue that tastes a cube of sugar when it is placed in a small cup of water and appreciates it, is the same tongue that tells the same cube of sugar how tasteless it is when it is placed in a large volume of water. Just like the cube of sugar must understand that a change in its environment can affect how well it tastes, it is important that we are awake to the realities of change as we pursue purpose so that we can devise the best strategies to stay relevant.

Thus, I’ll like to share some thoughts with you on some points I think are essential keys to staying relevant in an ever-changing world. I am certain you are going to find these thoughts helpful as you give yourself to the pursuit of your God-intended purpose.

  1. Consistency

Consistency is the currency of relevance. Before you can be relevant in the face of change, you must first learn to be consistent in generating results that meet real needs and answer genuine questions. You have to become a household name by virtue of your consistent demonstration of integrity and resourcefulness before you can last any wind of change. You also have to have gained a level of clarity in what your message is and be willing to share that message consistently.

  1. Innovation

In the face of change, innovation is key. You have to be flexible enough to try out new ideas and make attempts at exploring fresh opportunities to maximise your potentials and fulfill your purpose. What you must note here is that you should be innovative in your METHODOLOGIES and not necessarily your MESSAGE. Your message should remain the same in line with your core values across times and seasons, but how you get your message across to the people you lead will require innovation to stay afloat and remain relevant. You must learn genuine and innovative ways to reinvent yourself by forging such partnerships that may be necessary for your continued relevance and by exploring new ideas that do not betray your message but hold you out as a brand interested in growth. There are endless possibilities for those who are willing to be flexible and stretch their imagination.

  1. Connection

This last point is perhaps the most important of all. In Jeremiah 17, scripture describes a man who trusts in God as a tree planted by the river side. It does not fear when heat comes, its leaves are always green and never fails to bear fruit. In essence, this tree is able to bear fruits and produce green leaves irrespective of the season because it is connected to a source that never dries. I hope you see point then that the greatest secret to your staying relevant in your pursuit of purpose is to stay connected to God.

Dear friend, your story is too important to become “once upon a time.” This week, I challenge you to embrace consistency in the pursuit of your life assignment. Learn the wisdom of timely innovation. Above all, put your trust in God and let your confidence be in Him. You will be relevant for as long as He is relevant and that is for all ETERNITY!

Blessed? Let me hear your thoughts on this matter. Please leave a comment and don’t forget to share.

You matter to me always.