Three Ways to (Humbly) Grow Your Influence As a Leader

I’m continuing my break from blogging and social media, so I thought I’d share some great content from…

Tom Harper pic for blog

I’m continuing my break from blogging and social media, so I thought I’d share some great content from my friend, Tom Harper each day this week. Today’s blog post is SO good. I’m on a journey from a life full of pride to walking humbly in the Spirit. You can read about my confession HERE. Today’s blog post was right up my alley!

Tom Harper is president of Networld Media Group, a publisher of online trade journals and events for the banking, retail, restaurant and church leadership markets (including the mega-blog He is the author of Leading from the Lions’ Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible (B&H).

Last week I was honored to speak at the TurnAround20/20 Conference in Nashville, TN, where I got to meet Tom in person. He graciously offered to provide blog posts for me so I could finish my rest from technology. So enjoy! Here’s Tom’s next blog for this week:


The Bible teaches the right way to build a personal leadership reputation. If you feel you need more credibility, or if you feel your authority needs more weight, the book of John offers three tactics for going to the next level.

1.  Encourage a culture of commitment.  An organization is not merely its products, services, brand, or employees. It is the sum of its commitments. When people keep their promises to each other, work gets done.

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemed Presbyterian Church in New York, teaches that making commitments is how you form bonds with people. In John chapter 21, Jesus restores Peter, who had disowned him after Jesus’ arrest. Restoration occurs only because Peter makes new commitments that cancel out his earlier abandonment.

To raise my leadership profile, I must make and keep more promises, and hold others accountable for theirs.

2.  Speak to individuals in the herd.  Herd behavior describes how individuals can act together without planned direction. When a large group of animals flees a predator, each animal tries to move to the center of the group, creating the illusion that the herd is acting as a unit, when in reality it’s a collection of self-seeking individuals.

Jesus understood the mentality of the selfish herd. He knew many people were reluctant to support him out of personal fear of the authorities.

Great leaders speak to their audience as a herd of individuals, responding to self-interests by addressing objections, fears and desires.

3.  Try out the benefits of humiliation.  Jesus went deeper than mere servant leadership. In John 13, he washed his disciples’ feet, the humiliating act of a slave. While humiliation is the greatest fear of many leaders, it actually strengthens bonds and warms hearts.

Lisa White, an employee of Southmountain Children and Family Services in Nebo, NC, told her boss she wouldn’t live much longer without a kidney transplant. His reaction was to be the donor himself. He said the decision was easy. Lisa’s return to work and normal life was swift. What would cause her boss to undergo such voluntary pain and sacrifice?