In its most basic definition, a leader is someone who uses their power of influence to guide a group of people out of a decidedly bad situation to one which is safer and more advantageous. In that sense, Jesus was a leader. He led the whole of humanity out of sin and gave us hope and absolution.
Whether you’re charged with the spiritual welfare of a congregation or simply leading a small team of diligent workers in a company, leveraging your influence is the key to a successful outcome. Elder Mark Moore Jr. a shining star in Mark Moore Ministries and one of his generation’s premier thought leaders in the areas of ministry branding and strategic social media, has a deep insight into the art of leadership and influence. “You can lead,” Moore says, “and influence authority even when you don’t have authority. All you need to do is master the art of leveraging your influence.”
Create a Connection
When leveraging your influence your face is your best instrument. Your eyes and facial expressions convey both power and influence that the other person perceives immediately and processes almost unconsciously. We all know the power of face-to-face meetings as opposed to phone calls, teleconferencing, or other forms of digital communication. When you lock eyes with the person you’re addressing, you create a strong connection that gets your message through. Mark Moore Jr., a charismatic leader in his own right, states that scientifically speaking, our brains seek these connections and when we connect, our mood improves and our spirit soars. It’s for that reason that through the Mark Moore Ministries, he prefers to deliver his teachings in person and host face-to-face meetings with his congregation.
Send the Right Signals
But how much is enough? Stare too long and you come off as rude, but if you avoid eye contact, you convey insecurity. According to experts. the golden rule is less is more. Don’t force it and the connection will come naturally. Trying too hard to win people over will only make those people doubt your sincerity. So, open your heart and let your compassion for others and love of God guide your face and eyes. With empathy, you show people you have their best interests which makes for smoother communication.
Know your Audience
Through his extensive experience holding meetings and hosting retreats, Mark Moore Jr. stresses the importance of knowing the people you’re talking to. Not all the members of the congregation or the people who attend the Mark Moore Ministries meetings are the same. Each have their own needs, worries, and problems that need unique solutions. So before addressing your audience, you need to understand who they are, what brings them here, and what you can do to help them.
Know your Message
As much as knowing your audience is important, knowing your own message should rate high on the list of your priorities. Whether you’re at the podium addressing a congregation of believers or you’re at a business meeting talking to your shareholders, if you don’t know your material you won’t be able to connect. Reading from your notes or consulting your slides will prevent you from making eye contact and use the power of your face to connect with your audience. As Mark Moore Jr., who received the gift of the Holy Ghost at the tender age of 6, says, “When you talk from your heart, people will listen to you, believe in you, and accept your message. When you know your message by heart, that’s when you can talk from the heart.”
Hold that Gaze
If you’re addressing a room full of people, casting a sweeping glance across the attendees will fall flat on your audience. Instead you should strive to hold the gaze of each person for a few seconds. This will have the benefit of establishing that connection that our brains are wired to make. Of course, if you’re preaching to a large congregation such as the meetings held by Mark Moore Ministries where the attendance is usually high, you can only hold the gaze of the group at the front.
Get their Attention
As many of his congregation attest, nobody can get your attention like Mark Moore Jr. He’s blessed with natural charm and grace that gets your attention from the moment he locks eyes with you. “When preaching the Word of God,” Moore says, “I always leave room for pauses. This gives the people the chance to ‘feel’ the words, to absorb the meaning, and sense the grace of God in the meeting.”