Read Time: 7 min­utes

Have you ever wonder what it takes to be a highly influential person? Was it a gift from God or can it be learned?

Do you know some­one who is a high­ly influ­en­tial per­son? I was blessed enough because even they are few, they are my friends and my men­tors. There has nev­er been in the sea­son of my life that I seek guid­ance and help from them a lot.

What does it mean to be a high­ly influ­en­tial per­son? They are the kind of per­son who is able to influ­ence oth­er peo­ple to think or behave or change the way they think. Being influ­en­tial doesn’t need you to be a title hold­er or hav­ing a high posi­tion or even gen­der pref­er­ences. Lead­er­ship is far from that.

I remem­ber when I was 13 years old, I was still attend­ing a Sun­day School at that time. Yes, you read it right — Sun­day School. Since our church was too small, we are togeth­er with the pre-school­ers and kids and was hav­ing fun col­or­ing the mate­ri­als as we wait for our par­ents to fin­ish the ser­vice. It was ear­ly in the morn­ing when the pas­tor greet­ed me. And as he deliv­ers his ser­mon for the day, a thought sud­den­ly came out from my mind “some­day I want to be like him.”

12 years after I didn’t become like one. Prob­a­bly it was not the job God has called me to do, or it is not yet ful­filled, but I’m still thank­ful that He gave me a glimpse of what it is to become a pas­tor by allow­ing me to be part of mis­sion trips. And mis­sion trips opened my eyes to the real sit­u­a­tion of peo­ple in oth­er nations who do not know Christ yet.

Before mak­ing this whole arti­cle about my life, let me go back to where it should be. Do you want to become a high­ly influ­en­tial per­son? Did you know that even you are an intro­vert per­son like me, you can influ­ence oth­er peo­ple? Yes, you can, by prac­tic­ing these 8 habits that I’ve learned from high­ly influ­en­tial peo­ple whom I know.

1. Follow first then lead second.

Our par­ents were told that it is impor­tant to fol­low first. No won­der Gen X’ers are good man­agers.

In today’s gen­er­a­tion or as we call it The Mil­lenial Gen­er­a­tion, they told us all to become lead­ers. This is when lead­er­ship becomes over-glo­ri­fied, every­one wants to be a per­son of influ­ence, every­one wants to be heard, every­one wants to sug­gest when in fact not every­one wants to fol­low first, and it would be real­ly inef­fec­tive.

You must start at the bot­tom as they said. In oth­er words, how will you be able to know what might help some­one, and how you will be able to lead some­one if you don’t know the answer?

Lead­ers lead and learn from oth­ers. The great­est lead­ers are learn­ers. 

I am a mil­len­ni­al too and I learned it the hard way. There are times I com­plain a lot and pitied myself as I was on the bot­tom lev­el. I became enti­tled because of what I know, but lat­er I real­ized that it doesn’t mat­ter how much you know, there’s still a lot of things to learn. Learn to fol­low first, learn all the things you need to learn, and when you are ready, take the lead! Isn’t it what Jesus taught to us? Fol­low him first so that we will know exact­ly where we should lead oth­ers — to Him!

2. Be Willing.

God doesn’t use the edu­cat­ed, qual­i­fied, or even the most gift­ed or tal­ent­ed indi­vid­ual. He uses peo­ple who are will­ing to be used. The Apos­tles were not edu­cat­ed, they don’t even have the degree in the­ol­o­gy and depth knowl­edge of it, yet they have led and plant­ed many church­es that expe­dite the spread of the gospel all through­out the world.

Let’s take a look at what we have right now. We have bil­lion­aires, and peo­ple of influ­ence who were col­lege drop-outs. Inven­tors and inno­va­tors whom once been ridiculed by the impos­si­bil­i­ty of their dreams and yet, their inven­tions today were high­ly applaud­ed.

This reminds me of 1 Corinthi­ans 1:28 “God chose the low­ly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nul­li­fy the things that are,”

God doesn’t call the qual­i­fied, he qual­i­fies the called. And he is invit­ing you to be part of the great things He’s doing. God is at work every­where and even your strug­gles today, He can use that to influ­ence oth­ers through you!

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I have a friend and a men­tor, Kuya Mar­lon, he’s a moti­va­tion­al speak­er and every time he shares with us the jour­ney of his life and how God uses him to reach out to the next gen­er­a­tion, it com­pels us to do the same. He’s one of the peo­ple whose will­ing to be used by God and doesn’t want to miss out what God has in store for him.

Now here’s the ques­tion, will you choose to be used by God for great things and become a per­son of influ­ence, or will you choose to pass and per­haps miss out what God has in store for you? If you say no, God can always choose some­one over you. We have only lim­it­ed time on earth, the author of the Proverbs knew how it is impor­tant to num­ber our days. Don’t miss out what God has in store for you. Be will­ing to be used, your life is not yours, it belongs to Him.

3. Be an Example.

Prac­tice what you preach as they said. Peo­ple of influ­ence live their lives as an exam­ple of how to live. They aren’t try­ing to con­vince peo­ple to fol­low them. Peo­ple can smell from afar whether you are telling the truth about your­self or not.

Here’s what I learned, peo­ple of influ­ence doesn’t shy away from shar­ing this mis­takes and fail­ures in life, they are proud of it and because of it, peo­ple can relate to them. They just do what they do and oth­ers want to be part of it.

Jesus is the best exam­ple for this, he nev­er tried to per­suade peo­ple from fol­low­ing him. He didn’t per­form the mir­a­cle to win their hearts. He lives his mis­sion, and peo­ple fol­low him because of it.

1 Tim­o­thy 4:12b says, “…set an exam­ple for the believ­ers in speech, in con­duct, in love, in faith, and in puri­ty.”

No one will fol­low you down a path that you’re not will­ing to walk down to your­self. Walk the talk! Live it out unapolo­get­i­cal­ly and watch how your influ­ence will grow.

4. Live what you believe.

If you say you’re a Chris­t­ian then live like a Chris­t­ian and act like a Chris­t­ian. Don’t be a hyp­ocrite, don’t give a rea­son for oth­ers to doubt what you believe by the way you live.

When you talk about love and for­give­ness, don’t go hat­ing and judg­ing oth­ers. At the same way when you talk about pro­fes­sion­al excel­lence, don’t be late for your meet­ings and pre­sen­ta­tions.

No one wants to fol­low some­one who says or believes one thing but acts anoth­er. In Jesus’s time, the Phar­isees are the hyp­ocrites the Bible is telling about and even Jesus warned us to fol­low what they said, but not fol­low what they are doing.

Don’t let hypocrisy kills your influ­ence. Be a man of integri­ty and char­ac­ter.

5. Be Confident.

This is one of the most I strug­gled with, I’m glad I over­came it. When you don’t know your true iden­ti­ty, you’re going to find it in many places. And if you are inse­cure, there will be chances that you will miss a lot of oppor­tu­ni­ties God has in store for you.

This reminds me of the sto­ry of Moses when God called him to freed Israel from the slav­ery in Egypt. Moses was so inse­cure that he repeat­ed­ly argued before God and even request­ed to use some­one else. “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah?” Moses said. Then God con­tin­u­al­ly affirm­ing who he is and how impor­tant his role for the redemp­tion of Israelites.

If God was not patient enough, Moses might have missed this crazy call­ing and oppor­tu­ni­ties offered before him. Peo­ple of influ­ence don’t doubt them­selves, or God for that mat­ter. Didn’t He said that He’s the one who cre­at­ed us? That you are won­der­ful­ly and fear­ful­ly made? That He care­ful­ly mold you and knit­ted you in your mother’s womb?

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Be con­fi­dent in who God made you to be, and know that He always can and will use you for greater glo­ry, only if you let Him do it.

6. Have Passion.

Influ­en­tial peo­ple are pas­sion­ate about some­thing. It’s their pas­sion that inspires oth­ers to join them. Though pas­sion is not enough, high­ly influ­en­tial peo­ple knows their pur­pose. They know why they do what they are doing.

Some of the influ­en­tial peo­ple we know dri­ve for change. Mar­tin Luther King Jr, Win­ston Churchill and their abil­i­ty to tell peo­ple about their pas­sion makes them influ­en­tial.

What are you pas­sion­ate about? Let that pas­sion leads you to become an influ­en­tial per­son.

Colos­sians 3:23 sug­gest­ed, “What­ev­er you do [what­ev­er your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [some­thing done] for the Lord and not for men.”

  • Work from the soul
  • Put your best effort
  • Do it not for men.

7. Act on your beliefs.

When the armies of Israelites were afraid because of Goliath, that’s when David stepped up to fight. He didn’t care even he was untrained or not, his pas­sion and zeal for God con­vince him enough to fight the giant in front of him.

David act­ed on what he believe, influ­en­tial peo­ple does it too. They don’t just there talk­ing about what they believe in front of the peo­ple, they go and get things done. They work hard for it.

Whether it could be stand­ing in your faith, or stand­ing up against some­thing, or help­ing some­one. Act on what you believe even when oth­ers make fun of it. The world needs peo­ple who are authen­tic and liv­ing with their mis­sion, and not just anoth­er face in the crowd.

And final­ly,

8. Connect with others.

Peo­ple will for­get what you said but they will not for­get how you treat them. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

High­ly influ­en­tial peo­ple con­nect with oth­ers. They make sure to con­nect to even one per­son in the crowd. I’m a big fan of per­son­al devel­op­ment and make sure to know what things I need to improve on and learn from it.

Every Sun­day, I am teach­ing kids in Sun­day School, I learned that some of the kids don’t lis­ten to you unless you show to them you care for them. Oth­er peo­ple might mis­tak­en­ly define your influ­ence as expo­sure. For me, it doesn’t mat­ter how much peo­ple will see you, they might get to know you but if you are not able to con­nect with them, they will not fol­low you.

Here’s the thing: we might impress peo­ple with our achieve­ments and strengths, but we can only be able to con­nect with peo­ple through our weak­ness­es. 

Influ­en­tial peo­ple con­nect with oth­ers on a very deep lev­el. Let’s take a look at Jesus. What he does on earth was all about con­nect­ing with oth­er peo­ple and get­ting involved in their lives. In that way, peo­ple knew He cared.

If you want your influ­ence to be strong enough, you need to build strong rela­tion­ships with oth­ers.


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I blog about my dis­cov­er­ies and learn­ings with per­son­al devel­op­ment, blog­ging, writ­ing, pub­lic speak­ing, and pub­lish­ing. I am a Jesus fol­low­er. Each month, I send out a newslet­ter with free tips on those top­ics.

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