Cristiano Ronaldo, LeBron James, Tyler Perry, Fela Durotoye, Usain Bolt, Barack Obama, these are randomly selected names of individuals from different fields, what do they have in common? Well they are all men. Err ok let me add two more Beyoncé and Oprah Winfrey. I guess the list seems gender fair, Now what do they have in common? I’d say they all have influence; Influence is relative as some people may not believe in them but they definitely influence a certain group of people. That’s all no more argument. Influence is, simply put, the power and ability to personally affect others’ actions, decisions, opinions or thinking, Influence has being attributed to be a result of many factors but I’ve noticed that these two easily overlooked factors are the starting point of influence. I would explain my point through an incidence that occurred.

I entered a public bus and as the bus took off, the bus was silent with only the conductor’s voice being heard as he was collecting the bus fare then suddenly a man in his early 30’sbegan to preach, an evangelist I presumed. He started with a short introductory talk then he sang worship, the passenger’s consisted of old and young men & women. At first it was as if nobody was listening to him but gradually as he spoke there was usually a resounding ‘Amen’ response from the passengers, he spoke at length urging the commuters to live lives that please God and wrapped it off with a closing prayer as we got to the bus stop. At that moment I realized we probably didn’t know ourselves as we entered the bus but then having alighted everyone knew the man, to those who valued Christianity the man had probably gained influence with us, to those who didn’t well I guess not.

The characteristics that he displayed were:

Purpose; he had a purpose, which was to preach the gospel. People who are purpose driven usually draw a lot of admiration from people who share the same ideology, this sometimes is not enough as for the purpose to be executed it must be backed up with self confidence back to my story, he was self-confident, it wasn’t just enough that he had a purpose but that he was really confident as he spoke with knowledge and authority (not forcing the gospel on us or seeking monetary reward but rather admonishing us out of a caring heart). These two common factors I have found to be pertinent to Influence. Note they are just the starting factors as some are not easily convinced with just these two it takes more than Purpose and self confidence (getting along well with people, having achievements, helping others achieve their dreams are factors too) but surely these two would give you starting influence as a leader.

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