Influence Trumps Authority

The article below was posted in June by Lindsay Blinco, College Captain at Concordia Lutheran College (Toowoomba) on Feather and Fire - a leadership blog written by young people. Enjoy the read and if you'd like to read more visit www.featherandfire.com. Be blessed. Juliette (LYQ Leadership Trainer)

Influence Trumps Authority

There are three topics you should never bring up with my Grandma. Sex, politics and religion. I made that mistake one day and ended up in what seemed like never ending banter about politics. She seemed to have her own opinion about each individual candidate, what they have done, what they say they will do and whether they look dodgy or not. It seemed quite apparent that the future influences of our region were being put into positions of authority. As sad as it seems, we live in a society where influence requires authority.

Time Magazine recently published a list containing the most influential people of 2016. Among the many names were your typical politicians, sports stars, singers, actors, religious figures and entrepreneurs turned billionaires. For some cases the abuse of authority has led to dictatorships and tyrants. This is not influence, this is targeted persuasion, a result of a lack of compassion. Is this really a list of the most influential people or the most persuasive? Looking at a list of most influential people of all time, 2 names stand out, Ghandi and Jesus.

Ghandi and Jesus did not rely on authority to influence people. Simply put, their moral values, actions and beliefs were a greater influence than any authority or power of their times. After a recent experience on public transport in Brisbane I realised that influence and compassion are like your odor on a train. If it smells good, people will like it, they won’t mind sitting right next to you. Your positive compassion and influence bring reassuring and favorable aura to your environment. People who are more persuasive and less compassionate are like a bad perfume on a train, people will not enjoy your company. Unless they wish to jump off the train there is nowhere to go. Lastly, people who stink, you get the picture, they are not the best people to be around.

As a leader, using your influence to be more relatable and compassionate will trump targeted persuasion and authority. The outcomes of authority are having your followers complete your commands. The power of influence is having your followers care about your commands. The difference is compassion and morality. As a leader you are what you do, not what you say or say you will do.


Lindsay Blinco spends a large amount of his time in a small concrete box hitting a small black ball. When he is not playing squash he enjoys helping out on his farm, shooting, listening to music amongst the other luxuries found by living in the middle of nowhere. He is serving as Redlands Campus Captain of Concordia Lutheran College Toowoomba where he tells the worst jokes on assembly, starts lettuce eating competitions and has terrible puns about herbs for devotions. He believes that we all have a certain amount of THYME and we should cherish every moment of it.