"The true measure of leadership is influence- nothing more, nothing less"- John C. Maxwell
If a person does not have the ability to influence and inspire others to action, they will never be able to lead. Influence is defined as: the capacity or power of person to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behaviors, opinions of others. It is the ability to move a person to act or to think, in a way that would not have transpired without the influence of another. However, influence alone is not enough. Others must also be inspired by the influencer, or their actions will stay the same. Inspiration is defined as: to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence. These attributes, influence and inspiration, work together for the benefit of a leader. If a leader has influence but lacks inspiration, then how far can he/she move other people to action? Inspiration must accompany influence. Leadership is not positional. For example, a manager may be able to influence an employee to do something based on position, but that alone will not keep the employee inspired to continue. They may incorporate new action or thought temporarily based on the influence of the upper management position, but leadership is more than a title. It requires consistency in action, behavior, and attitude.
People expect leaders to be upbeat, positive, and motivating. Followers want to be inspired by the leader. Leaders must create and communicate a vision that and inspires others to take action toward the common organizational goal or the individuals goal. A leader must have the highest energy and enthusiasm level to infect others and motivate them toward action.
Leaders have to show their constituents that they are passionate and committed to pursuing the dream (Kouzes & Posner). People will follow that which breathes into them a purpose and gives them meaning in life. People want to be inspired. Most people want more out of life, want to reach goals and live their dreams, but they lack vision and have more doubt, than faith. A leader creates that bigger vision for their constituents; offering them hope and belief. When people have doubt, negativity, uncertainty, and feel discouraged about the future, a leaders role is to influence a change and inspire new thinking. Leaders must not only speak the right words to inspire, they need to lead with new actions and vision. Leaders must fuel others with positive emotions, influence change, and inspire peak performance.
The same is true for events. Events create positive emotions, can influence change, and can inspire people to reach optimal levels. Companies create events to motivate employees, speakers host seminars to educate and inspire, and cities manage festivals to create communities. There is power in numbers. Give an event the power it deserves; treat it like a leader.