The Greatest Threat to Your Influence
To claim something is the greatest threat is tough, but I think I can prove from my 20 years of martial arts training that I know the greatest threat. Now let me start by laying out a few Martial Arts principals:
1. The body can only to be strong in one direction
2. To move a body, apply a small amount of pressure perpendicular to its force
3. To be perpendicular to the force you must first yield to the threat
We call these principals not laws because they do not always apply, but they apply much of the time. The problem is that just as often it is unnatural to yield to the threat in a productive manner.
Much of what we train in the martial arts is how to do things that do not come naturally. We teach our bodies to relax when they are revved up. We teach our minds to focus when they are full. We teach our hearts to have compassion instead of retaliation. We teach our spirits confidence in the midst of fear.
The greatest obstacle to being safe in most circumstances is you. We tend to create more problems than we need to and get in our own way. We fight when we should yield, crouch when we should move, or avoid when we should lean in. Training is required to overcome yourself.
Influence works much the same way. While exerting power over others may seem the best way to bring change in the direction you desire, usually being humble and inviting them on a powerful journey is more effective. Some believe regulations and constant critique gets the best results, but studies show that good systems that allow for freedom with in them get more innovation.
The point of all of this is that you grow your influence as you lessen yourself. You build up those around you. You grant them the freedom to go where they want to go, and in so doing they become your advocates and friends.
Yield to the threat of you. Surrender you and you will gain the greatest influence you have ever had.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” Romans 12:3