day 2558: Participative Influence

“Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

I’ve come to learn that those who are most powerful are those who are most influential.  This stands true for people, organizations and companies.  Without influence there is no power.  Influence, interestingly enough doesn’t come from being outside of a group, but instead being active within the set of people or consumers and then working out from there.  This is why most of government, while ceded with seeming power, is not powerful at all because it has no influence and that is because it too many sits outside of our circle of participation.  Last week I was watching the “Lighting of the Trees” in our local city of Burlingame.  As I listened to the Mayor speak about what the city had accomplished during 2018, I was struck that the city counsel’s perception of power is justified because they influence through participation of themselves, the city workers, volunteers and citizens.  If we want to be more powerful, we have to be more influential.  If we want to be more influential, we have to participate more with others around us.  If we are wondering why we might be in leadership positions (as people or companies) but don’t have really any influence, it could be that we have the wrong emphasis.  If the priority is not others, then we have missed the point all together.

Jon Tyson and Heather Grizzle in their great book, “A Creative Minority” say that influence is a word derived from Latin that means to “flow.” They go on to say, “Participation means that we do not hate the world, we are not protesting it, we are participating in it with a vision of the way of Jesus.”  They quote Mel Lawrenze who says that influence “Means something that flows in and causes changes, usually a force that is imperceptible or hidden.”  How we participate with others, as Jesus did, can have more of an influence on others than we will ever know.  Jesus asked who touched His robe as He felt the power flow from Him.  Jesus is asking, “Who of us is willing to participate with Him and others in all we do so that His power can flow through us as influence on His behalf.

Reference: Mark 5:30 (New Living Translation)