The first set of talents that I discussed were ones that are focused on completing tasks. The second set was talents that were focused on relationship building. In this post, I look at the third set, the influencing talents.
Influencing talents are focused on getting other people to do things. There are various ways that people influence others. These include, getting people to start things, getting across a message, taking charge, convincing others, getting the most of things, wanting to win, having confidence and bringing significance.
People who have are strong in influencing talents are often natural leaders. They often like to take charge, be up front, or tell others what to do. They are often great at creating teams and then getting the teams working. They are often natural when dealing with mass media, such as radio or TV.
Just having a set of natural influencing talents will not make someone a leader. You need to develop your talents and manage them well.
Equally not having any natural influencing talents does not mean you can’t be a leader. You will just be a different kind of leader. In my opinion churches and ministries need to spend a lot more time developing these other kinds of leaders. But more on that in future posts.
Influencers tend to like meeting new people. They are always looking for new people to bring on board. They also tend to like larger crowds. They tend to enjoy parties where there are lots of people.
Influencers tend to gather people who are completers. The influencers are good at giving jobs to people and the completers like to complete jobs. It is a natural relationship that works well together.
As with all talent clusters there are some of which people should be aware. One potential down side, particularly in churches and where the leader doesn’t have many relation building talents, is that church tends to become about doing tasks and the aspect of relationship and community is lost.
Another, depending on the rest of their talent mix, is that influencers can be seen as a bit shallow. They are great at the small talk, but don’t often get past that to deep aspects of life and relationships. Influencers tend to know lots of people but not have in depth relationship with those people. Those who are natural relators can sometimes get frustrated by this.
Finally, in churches, often there is a model of leadership training which is ‘serve then be served’. Influencers are great at getting people to serve them, don’t easily fit into the model of serve then be served because they don’t like to be micromanaged. They are often good when given an area of responsibility and released to run it their way.
When leaders don’t understand this aspect they tend to clash with influencers. Through this the church loses the people that are potentially the greatest natural leaders.