Greg, I don’t have any power. No one listens to me. My work doesn’t matter. My vote doesn’t matter. Nothing I do really matters. I’m powerless.
Do you ever think thoughts like that? I know I do.
I saw a great speaker at church last Sunday night. He was talking to us about parenting and he said any influence you have with your children is dependent on the relationship you have with them.
That struck a chord with me. When my dad and I were getting along well and had a good father/son relationship, I hung on his every word. I wanted to be like him. When our relationship was strained, I turned to my friends for guidance on how to live and what to do.
The speaker told us how he had a very tough time in school. At 13, he was tall and sickly thin – so thin he couldn’t even play sports. He also had horrible acne with pimples as big as nickels.
Kids can be mean and every day at school was misery. But more mornings than not, his mother would stop him at the door, as he was about to leave, look him in the eye and say, “I know it’s hard for you right now. But I want you to know that I believe in you. I love you. God loves you, and he has big things planned for you.”
Because he had a great relationship with his mother, her words had great influence on him. They carried him through the tough days. Later in life those words rang in his ears as he started to write the first of 24 books. They encouraged him as he preached to 8,000 people on the steps of our nation’s capital.
Her relationship with her son gave her great power and influence with him.
I think it’s the same for every part of our lives. Our power is derived from the relationships we have with people, not from our title or perceived power.
We’ve all seen the boss who has very little influence with his employees because he has a horrible relationship with them. He can fire them, but he can’t get them to do their best for him.
How about the politician who becomes known for corruption and lying? Who wants to continue to volunteer to help her win re-election?
But, when your family, friends, coworkers, and followers know you care about them – when you have invested in deep relationships with them – they are willing to run through brick walls for you.
You matter to them. And they matter to you.
True, caring, deep relationships give you great power and influence.
How can you grow your most important relationships to have more power for good than you’ve ever imagined?