February 24 – The Key to Influence

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During his presidency, Woodrow Wilson was approached by his housekeeper concerning the position of the secretary of labor.  She tried to convince President Wilson that her husband would be perfect for the job.  She said her husband was a man of labor and understood how to interact with laboring people.  President Wilson replied, “I appreciate the recommendation but you must remember, the secretary of labor is an important position.  It requires a person of influence.”

The housekeeper replied, “Well if you made my husband secretary of labor, he would be an influential person!”

There is a misconception about influence; having a title alone doesn’t prove someone to be influential.  Hanz Finzel said, “When all is said and done, the crowns of my achievements will not be the systems I managed, the things I wrote, or the buildings I built, but the people I personally and permanently influenced through direct contact.”

Influence is guided by relationships, and relationships are formed only through trust.  You may have a title but if others can’t trust you I assure you, you have very little influence over them.  Be the right kind of person and the position will find you.

Daily Reading: Numbers 31-32