Melissa Peak shares four lessons she’s learned about leaning into and utilizing influence, and why now is the time to be the salt and light.
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Women of 4word, daughters of Almighty God, let’s discuss if NOW is the right time to step into a position of influence.
The January 3rd 4word blog defined influence for us as “the power to change or affect someone or something: the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen.” (Merriam Webster) Given that definition, we are influencing constantly, with our children, spouses, families, friends, churches, and work environments.
But let’s look deeper at the right time to step into influence in business. The words of Jesus guide us:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:13-16
Let me repeat that last verse: LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE OTHERS, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD DEEDS AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.
That sounds an awful lot like a directive to me and answers our opening question. When is the time to step into our influence? NOW is the time to step into God-anointed influence.
HOW we follow this command is very individual, because God made each of us with unique strengths, capabilities, and interests. He did that on purpose. This means we can stop trying to try to act like Jane, Mark, or whomever we observe and perceive as having influence. Instead, we are called to bespoke influence that is customized, because we are customized!
You may be thinking, “So Melissa, what do I do if I don’t feel like I’m operating to the full capacity of my influence?”
While there is no silver-bullet answer, allow me to share four lessons I have learned on my journey:
Lesson One: We move through seasons of life, including seasons of preparation. Lean into those seasons, even if they don’t make logical sense to us. Look at Moses. God took him to the wilderness for 40 years to prepare his heart, so he was ready to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. From a training and “executive presence” perspective, this was crazy! Moses had attended the best schools, sat at the boardroom table (i.e., Egyptian court), had the best clothes, and seemed “ready” for leadership right before he stepped in to stop the Egyptian from beating his fellow Israelite.
Did God mess up? Did God simply make the best of a bad situation, namely that Moses messed with the schedule by intervening? No! God, in His divine wisdom, knew the areas where Moses needed to be refined and developed so he would be ready to step into his full influence. If you’re in a season of preparation, lean in. Surrender control, commit to walking faithfully, and agree with prayer warriors around you that God will finish the work He started.
Lesson Two: Faithfulness in the small things leads to greater things. I’m so thankful God loves us enough not to immediately make us CEO or give us a billion-dollar business to run! He loves us, and He knows us, and His objective isn’t a big title or bank account. His objective is that we have life abundant (John 10:10) and that we are prepared to be the salt and light on every stage He places us. He knows what needs to be developed. It could be that we are developing our decision-making, executive approach, confidence, ability to handle conflict, ability to stand against toxic people, business acumen, humility, our reliance on Him, or any number of things. So, we bloom where we are planted, until He leads us to make a change, or moves us Himself.
Lesson Three: We were created on purpose; there is nothing accidental about us. In addition to core biblical truths about our identity in Christ, each of us has uniqueness that God artfully crafted in alignment with the calling He places on us. We must take the time to understand those unique strengths, so we can invest in building those natural talents into true superpowers. For the last 13 years, I have used the Clifton Strengths assessment in my career, and in coaching others, to provide insight on natural talents that can and should be developed into strengths. It has been so impactful that I’m going to offer a free 1-hour Clifton Strengths Coaching session for the first ten 4word women who contact me at email@example.com , seeking this coaching.
Lesson Four: When God says Go…GO. We see evidence in Scripture, and even in nature (that He orchestrated), that there are often long periods where it doesn’t seem like anything is happening, and then, boom: breakthrough occurs. We must be ready to MOVE when God guides us to do so. Armed with clarity of purpose, hearts prepared through the seasons God has led us, and equipped with the knowledge and ability to fulfill our call, we must step forward BOLDLY when the Holy Spirit speaks. This is our act of obedience. That moment is not the time to seek others’ opinions, second-guess if God will provide, doubt our ability, or shrink back. Our personalities will define if we feel exhilarated, terrified, nervous, or somewhere in between, at that moment. We act in obedience anyways. Our emotions will follow suit, as they submit to the will of God here on earth.
For those who are having the influence you know God designed you for, we will continue to hold you up in prayer, knowing that it’s not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit, you will thrive and shine brightly.
One thing is clear, the world is in chaos, full of fear and anxiety. The need for our influence is urgent. The world needs us to be the salt and light! Our Father has placed each of us at this moment for such a time as this. May the Lord bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you, and give you peace.
Lead on, knowing that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.romans 8:11
Melissa Peak is a Global Executive with over 20 years of experience building and leading high-growth businesses. Her specialty is solving workforce challenges by curating bespoke solutions and advising leaders to build a thriving workforce. Currently, she is the Global Lead for Workforce Development at AWS Professional Services.
Melissa is a Canadian-born, first-generation college student who is a determined advocate for those navigating a “road less traveled.” Melissa has opened doors of career opportunity for thousands of individuals. She believes in the indomitable human spirit and in the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change society and the world.
Melissa resides in Goshen, KY, with her husband Michael and their five children, ages 4-14. She holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan’s School of Business, an MBA with a specialty in Global Management from the John Sperling School of Business at the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Literature from Indiana Wesleyan University.
She was honored to be named a “2020 Top Woman to Watch” by the US Diversity Journal magazine and is a proud member of the global 4word community.