There is much talk these days among what Jim Stroup calls the modern leadership movement (MLM) that leadership is all about influence.
What I’ve never seen is any mention that influence is about control.
Influence moves you in the direction desired by the leader, essentially controlling your choices.
Also faulty is the assumption that the influence ‘leaders’ exert is always for ‘good’; as I keep saying, assumptions are bad.
In this case the assumption is that a ‘leader’ you like/trust/respect won’t lead you in a direction that encourages you to do something you wouldn’t do on your own if you thought of it.
That is a faulty assumption at best and a destructive one at worst.
To paraphrase an old saying that has served me well in my life, consider the source of the influence sans assumptions before allowing it to affect you.
In other words, listen objectively to the words and consider what they mean.
One trick to doing that is to pretend someone you would never allow to influence you said the same thing. How would you react?
If you would pull back and say, ‘no way’, then it should be ‘no way’ even if the source is someone you like/trust/respect.
Fickr image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zedbee/103147140/