So, I have a new position.  I am assistant band director at a high school that’s about 15 minutes from my house.  I attend rehearsals three times a week, and I have the pleasure of interacting with all of the band kids.  But it didn’t start off this way at first.

Initially, I was hired as the percussion instructor (as I normally am), but the more I talked with the band director, the more he saw a greater value in me beyond being limited to the drum line.  Now, I’m assistant director.

the power of influence

Among other gifts, I have been blessed with a skill for leadership development, apparently.  As a result, I have been afforded the opportunity to work with the section leaders.  I meet with them once a week, and we work intently on instilling leadership skills.  The other day, I explained to them a little bit about power.  I said, “The higher you are in position, the more of a servant you become.  I hope that you are not a section leader to rule over people, but instead to use the power you have been entrusted with to help others.”  Many of them nodded in agreement.  It was a great feeling to know that the students understood where I was coming from.

After the meeting, we joined full ensemble rehearsal, which was already in progress.  I noticed that the band director was resolving an issue with his computer, and the drum major needed some critiquing on her conducting style.  So, I showed the drum major a few pointers as she conducted on the podium.  I heard some things in the band that needed to be sorted out (within the music).  Long story short, I was able to “work” the music and they [the band] sounded better.  As I relinquished the podium to the head band director, he said to me, “I can watch you do this all day.  I have much to learn.”  I later thanked him for the compliment, but the fact that the students applauded me as I left the podium was quite special.  It let me know that they appreciated my efforts.

All I wanted to do was help the band sound good.  I didn’t do it to “show up” the head band director (who is a great friend).  I just wanted to help.  This speaks directly to my character as it pertains to influence.  I don’t desire to invoke power, but instead, to effect positive change.  Everywhere I go, I desire to make my environment better.  If the room is darkly lit, I bring with me light, to help others see.  If I walk into a desert, I will bring a well-spring to refresh everyone.  Where there is confusion and chaos, I bring order and solutions.

As I wrap this up, I leave with you the definition of influence.  I never knew how much this describes me until now.

influence: (n)-the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Until next time,




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