Investing in People with Compound Influence

You’re in a meeting and you have something to say. You want to share your point of view. You go for it. You offer something significant and say it with passion and conviction. But then you look around the room and realize your words fell flat. You feel like you were not heard. Your words were lost in the crowd.

Why is it that some people seem to have a voice that rises among others? How do some people get others to respond with open hearts and open minds to what they are saying? Most of us cannot command this level of attention from others, but there are a few great, larger-than-life people that have this ability.

I have been in the room with Christ Fellowship Founding Pastor Tom Mullins. I have watched how when he speaks, people listen. When he shares, the people around him literally lean in. They laugh with him, they cry with him. It is amazing to witness. Certainly, this is due to the fact that Pastor Tom is a gifted communicator – one of the best. He is a master storyteller. You can be in a boardroom with a table and chairs, and he makes you feel like you are sitting with him by a campfire in the mountains sharing a great adventure.

There’s a force behind his influence. The main reason people are so drawn to great leaders like Pastor Tom is because of a force that I call: Compound Influence. 

If you know anything about financial planning, you are familiar with compound interest: Investing money into a savings account results in collecting interest. What’s even better: If you keep the money in there, the amount of money not only grows, it compounds because you then earn interest on the interest.

Albert Einstein “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”

I believe this principle is true with influence as well.

When a leader positively invests in, nurtures, and cares for people around him, the people around him also earn influence.  If a leader stays committed to their calling in the same place for several years, that influence grows dramatically as each person gains more and more value. People see the leader’s consistency of character. They witness the impact of how the leader brought positive change within their community.

This is how a leader gains Compound Influence.

Leaders like Pastor Tom Mullins have earned Compound Influence.  When Pastor Tom speaks, people listen. They listen beyond his words. They look at his life well-lived. He has credibility. He has proven integrity.

We all can begin to earn Compound Influence. We can earn a seat at the table and our voice will be heard in the crowd. People will lean in to what we are saying.

Take note: It does not start with your piles of money, it begins with the investment in people.