The currency of influence

You have access to what you will honor.
At least, you should only have access to what you will honor…
I have made an error in my journey – I have given influence to people who did not honor leadership. (Gasp – I know it sounds foolish and it is, but let me explain…)
I have made the mistake of undervaluing my responsibility as one entrusted with leadership. In a misapplication of humility, and an over-realized desire to be “empowering,” I’ve given people access to me and influence in areas where I am responsible, without first requiring them to honor leadership. It’s never worked out well.
If you have a responsibility over a resource, ministry, or organization – you need to be courageous enough to recognize that the buck stops with you. You are the one held responsible by the Lord. You should not be bullied (not even by your own insecurity) into thinking that you’re just being an egomaniac if you steward and protect what you’ve been entrusted with. Don’t buy the lie that you have some “agenda.” IF someone wants influence without honor, THEY have an agenda.
And on that note, if you find yourself part of an organization or ministry and you want to be part of making things happen, being a catalyst or influence, then find someone who has been entrusted with responsibility and honor them. I don’t mean go tell them why they should listen to you and value your gifts; nor do I mean going to them and asking for meetings, for coffee, for fellowship, for a chance to “hang out and connect, and get to know each other more.” Chances are they are buried and aren’t looking for ways to use up spare time…I mean go honor them. Help them in a way that helps them. Encourage them. Be kind; be generous; be helpful. They’ll notice. They will notice. They may eventually seek out your company, opinion, input and even your friendship.
Honoring someone isn’t manipulation or any such thing.
Honor is the currency of influence. Without the former, there must not be the latter.
At least that’s what my mistakes have taught me.

Pushing a Rock Up a Hill


Most of the time I feel like I am pushing a rock up a hill.

I am never not aware of the rock. I feel its weight. I cannot let go of the rock. I am responsible to make sure it keeps moving up the hill; I can’t let it roll back down. Every other activity must be done while holding the rock. I eat with the rock on my back. I sleep wedged beneath the rock, with rock-moving strategies and hopes for progress squeezing my dreams. Don’t get me wrong; almost all the time I love the rock, and even more I love making the rock move forward. I just know that I have to push the rock. I don’t feel like I have a choice. I just have to push the rock.

Sometimes I leave the rock with capable hands while I go encourage other rock-pushers, and maybe help them push their rocks through a tough spot.

I do have people with me pushing the rock. I love it when people push on the rock. I can use all the help I can get!

Some people help better than others.

Some people come and help me push the rock like it was their own rock. It really feels like it’s “our rock” and “we” are pushing. This really makes rock-pushing fun. Some people have worn grooves in the rock from pushing so well, for so long. I love rock-pushers, because no matter what, I have to push the rock.

Some people who come to help push the rock like to talk about how maybe the rock should be a different color, or maybe the rock could use some sanding here and there, or maybe they don’t like calling it a rock. “Is it possible to change rocks?” Whatever, just push the rock.

Some people will walk beside me, getting really close to me, and almost touching the rock. They’ll quietly tell me how I might make some changes in how I am pushing the rock. They may regale me with tales of rocks they’ve moved (well, at least they touched some cool rocks). They don’t break a sweat, but they occasionally have to take breaks from not pushing the rock. Often, they wander off, shaking their heads over how poorly I seem to pushing the rock. Regardless, I keep pushing the rock.

Some people come and ask to help push the rock. Sure! Push! But they’d prefer a certain spot to push…no, not there. Maybe there…well, not really there. “I’m not really being used very well at pushing the rock.” Really? Just push the rock.

Every once in a while someone will be upset that I am pushing the rock. Yes. That I am pushing the rock. I mean that I don’t know why they’re upset, because I am just pushing this rock. But somehow I’ve let them down, haven’t pushed well enough, or even that I am pushing too much. Maybe I haven’t let them have control of the rock? Control the rock? I don’t own the rock. I am just pushing this rock up a hill. But in response to my rock-pushing, they stop helping push the rock. Sometimes others stop with them.  I pause to catch a breath after they stop pushing, get a fresh footing, and then I keep pushing the rock. It’s a little heavier than before. But I keep pushing the rock.

I keep studying rock-pushing. I keep learning. I am inspired by the rock-pushers who have moved rocks before me. I can see the trails left by their rock-pushing. Many have made my way easier. Their example compels me. I want to leave a trail for other rock-pushers to follow.  I keep pushing the rock.

I sometimes wonder if I will ever push my rock as well as others. It seems like some rock-pushers sail past me. Others, too many others, I have seen lose traction, focus, or grip and roll back down the hill with their rocks. Rock-pushing can be dangerous. But I just keep pushing the rock.

Because at the end of the day, and at the beginning of the day, and in fact all day long every day, I am pushing a rock up a hill.