Leadership is influence. Always be aware of people who have influence within your organization or the group you may be working with. There are often “unlikely leaders” lurking in the shadows. These are men and women who don’t have a recognized leadership position. They may not even “look” like a leader, but they have tremendous influence among their peers. You want to be sure to recruit them for your cause and tap into their influence.
A great example of an “unlikely leader” comes from the story of the woman at the well:
The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him. Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.” (from John 4:4-42 NLT)
The testimony of this woman moved her entire village to respond. The passage says “the people came streaming from the village to see him.” That is influence! In the culture of that day, being a Samaritan woman was about as low a status in society as you could get. Jesus however knew all about her and the potential she had to influence so many people.
This woman didn’t have a leadership position as mayor of her village. She certainly didn’t have a great reputation as the “Mother Teresa” of her town. She had no position of authority or social status that would cause her to be identified as a leader. This “unlikely leader” however, was used by Jesus to draw many to him and their lives were changed forever.
“Unlikely leaders” have influence because they win the hearts of people. They influence others because they connect with them in some unique way. For this woman Jesus met at the well, the evident change in her life and her enthusiasm for sharing her story won the hearts of her village.
Faithful and dependable workers, who quietly do their job well, will often have influence among their peers. People who overcome extremely difficult circumstances will often win the hearts of people. Genuine servants also have great influence.
Look for “unlikely leaders” in your organization today. Recruiting them to help you accomplish your mission would be wise move.