Two Critical Things Influencers Do

Abe Lincoln knew a lot about a lot of things, but something he knew exceptionally well was how to influence people. This post touches on two things that Lincoln did that put him in the hall of fame of leaders and they are simple enough that anyone who’s willing to pay attention can do.

The one who aspires to lead must be an observer.

  • An observer of people
  • An observer of context
  • An observer of culture
  • An observer of trends
  • An observer of history
  • An observer of his or her own heart

Leaders walk around and observe. They not only walk around and observe, they talk to people. They not only talk to people, they ask questions-good ones, and a lot of them.

Observing is easy but it requires intentionally. You can’t play Golf Galaxy or 8 Ball Pool for hours on end and make good observations. My pastor says “In order to go up, you have to give up.” If you want to grow in your influence, whether you have a position of leadership or not, there are certain things that have to be left behind. Great leaders are exceptional students and being a student requires the slaying of some certain attention thieves.

“Leading is primarily paying attention. The masters of the use of attention are also not only master users of symbols and of drama, but are also master storytellers and myth builders.” – ABE LINCOLN

  • The one who aspires to lead must translate observations into stories that motivate and inspire.
  • Lincoln was also exceptional at telling stories-not just behind a lecture or on a campaign tree stump, but in the living room entertaining guests.
  • Do you want to inspire? Tell me a story. Telling stories helps me:
    • humanize the hero
      puts a handle on the bar of soap called the future
      see my place in the vision

    Lincoln had a major platform and influenced millions of people at a very critical moment in history but that is not required to influence. God has given you your own platform and ability to observe and then tell your tribe what you think of it. He will never hold you accountable to be a Lincoln but He will hold you accountable to be yourself.

    Only you can tell stories like yourself. The world will be more informed and you’ll be glad you did.

    Happy story telling!

    3 thoughts on “Two Critical Things Influencers Do

    Add yours

    1. Thank you for this Tim. It is Exactly what I needed, and a real blessing to me.
      Something else I am observing about myself is the need to separate emotions from feedback or opinion. If you have insight please share, but when I speak directly out of emotion I sometimes do not convey what is truly on my heart to communicate. I’m trying to learn to take emotion, and refine it into what I need to share. Make sense?


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