Welcome BAck! Lesson 2 is about our tremendous power to change the world through simple, small actions - The actions that build influence and create meaningful relationships. 


Lesson 2: The Power (Of Influence)

Goals:  

  • Students will recognize their capacity for impact in everyday actions.
  • Students will understand how to build influence on their campus.
  • Students will see the difference between power and influence and recognize the effectiveness of leading through consistent, intentional service.

Opening Activity: Chaos

  1. Have the group stand in a circle while you give them these instructions…
    • Without making eye contact, pointing, or speaking, select 2 people in the circle. 
    • When I say ‘Go,’ your goal is stay an equal distance from these 2 people. You can be as far away or as close as you like, as long as you are equal distance between both.
  2. Let them begin. Watch for a minute or two as the group tries to get equal to one another. Usually, a group won‘t ‘come to rest’ in this amount of time. 
  3. Pause the group and move three to four people to new locations. Ask if anyone needs to adjust to remain equidistant to their 2 people - if they do, have them move. Does this cause others to go out of balance? Let them move to adjust. 
  4. Facilitate this process for a few more minutes then bring them back to a circle.

Reflection:

  • Why was it hard to stay equal distance between your two people?
  • How did the way your people moved impact you? How did your moving impact others?
  • Are we always going to be able to see or know how our choices impact other people?
  • Is it possible that a single step you took in any direction could have caused EVERYONE in the room to move as a result?

Activity Closure: The Pinky Wiggle

Say: Put your fist up. Put your pinky up. Wiggle it around. You…just changed the world. In the early 1960’s, Dr. Andrews was studying at John Hopkins University. His topic of study: The Atomic Nature of Our Universe. He spent years researching how atoms related to one another and how they moved or affected one another in space. After years of research, he concluded that the atomic structure of our entire universe is so interconnected - so sensitive - that we can’t even move a finger without changing the relationship of every atom in the universe almost instantaneously. That, as we move our pinky, the atoms around our pinkies are being disrupted and bouncing into the atom right next to them. Because they exist so close to one another in space, this causes the atom next to it to move as well…which causes the one next to it to move as well. And so on and so forth until every atom has been disrupted in some way. There are 10 quadrillion vigintillion (10 to the 78th power) atoms in the known universe - and every one of them move because of our pinky. If our pinkies shake the universe, then imagine what our words and actions do every day. We are incredibly POWERFUL people. So what do we use that power for…?

Activity: Power vs. Influence

Ask: Who are some of the most influential leaders of all time?
Make: A list of their responses. You might get a list that looks like this:

Stalin
Hitler
Lenin
Julius Caesar
Alexander the Great
Napoleon     

Mother Theresa
Gandhi
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jesus Christ
Mohammad
Joan of Arc

Note: Two lists begin to develop. One is the servant leader list and the other is the power list. Of course, all of these people were influential, but some held their positions with power while others built great influence.
Ask: What is the difference between power and influence? What makes a person be seen and admired as a person of influence?  Answers will vary, but generally speaking, the discussion will come back to the fact that these servant leaders behaved with love and were willing to make the sacrifices necessary to help people.

Closure: 

Say: Power is an ability that can be given or taken away.  By contrast, influence is a skill that can be learned, which is built by serving and sacrificing. It must be earned. And we earn it every day by doing little things. And, in case you have forgotten, sometimes is it the littlest things that - *wiggle pinky* - make the BIGGEST difference.

        "No leader is worth his salt who won't set up chairs."  -Peter Drucker