Thursday, July 19

Leadership Lessons from Paris Hilton

I recently watched Larry King's interview with Paris Hilton after she served time in prison for driving with a suspended license. King spoke of incarceration being a time of introspection, a time meant to learn lessons, and asked Hilton if she had learned any lessons during that time. Her answer was typical. It was a very traumatic experience for her; she did a lot of soul searching, having lots of time to think and journal. She also said she believes that God does everything for a reason.

We know the Maxwell maxim: Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. Paris Hilton is a woman of influence. Thousands of people follow either her or her life story as it unfolds, the majority of them being young women and girls. So, how is she influencing? If leadership is influence, then we need to think about who are our influencers.

I do not follow the goings on of Paris Hilton, or any other celebrity for that matter. My life is full enough, thank you. But these people are our leaders. How? Because they influence. My point is how are we choosing to influence? Mother Teresa and Gandhi were leaders of influence; and so was Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein.

According to Wikipedia, influence is a term that refers to the ability to indirectly control or affect the actions of other people or things. The meaning of influence therefore depends on who or what is being affected, and to what end. Statistics tells us that the average person will influence at least 10,000 people in a lifetime. The people I mentioned earlier were powerful influencers, and still continue to influence years after their deaths.

How do you choose to influence? I am around people who are cynical, angry, judgmental, critical, selfish and jealous. Yet, I also come in contact with people who are kind, generous, patient, loving, selfless and peaceful. Both kinds of people have an influence on someone.

Who would you want your children to be around?

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

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