Author, leader, and my former boss Jenni Catron has written an amazing book on leadership, CLOUT, that really speaks to the heart of a lot of artists out there. As a creative leader this book spoke volumes to me and to the areas of my leadership life that I need to invest in to grow and develop. I am a big fan of Jenni, she opened the door for me to get back into ministry and work at the best joint on the planet…Cross Point Church. So today I wanted to take a few minutes and share 10 questions with you about CLOUT and what it means for your leadership. Make sure you grab a copy of her book HERE…you won’t be disappointed.

1. What is CLOUT and how is it different from authority?
Clout is all about influence. It’s understanding the influence that God has given to you and to know one else. Clout is about using your gifts, talents, experiences and opportunities to serve others and invest in them. Authority has more to do with position and power. Clout doesn’t require a title or a spotlight. It’s our influence in action in our every day lives.

2. What are the 2-3 greatest CLOUT killers in your mind?
Fear is definitely the frontrunner of the clout killers.
It’s usually an “I’m not enough” fear that triggers the others. For instance fear that I don’t measure up to others leads to comparison and fear that I’m not good enough triggers insecurity. While all of us wrestle with different clout killers in varying degrees, fear, comparison and insecurity consistently show up for many of us.

3. When someone losses their CLOUT what is the best way to bounce back and recover?
We have to go back to the source of our clout. Clout is not about us, it’s about Christ in us. We often lose influence when we begin to make it all about us. We have to remember that we are a steward of the influence that God has given us. Stewardship recognizes that I’ve been entrusted with something valuable and I have a responsibility to give it my best care. I don’t own it, but I’ve been given an amazing privilege.

4. For you personally what is the hardest part about being a leader?
I think the hardest part for me is not succumbing to self-doubt on the difficult days. Leadership by its nature is about navigating complexity and leading yourself and others towards clarity. When you give into your own fears and doubts, it’s difficult to lead others through theirs.

5. You are taking a new position in a new organization, how do you transfer your CLOUT from one organization to another?
There is a certain amount of clout, or influence, that you carry with you wherever you go. The gifts, talents, experiences and opportunities you have shape who you are and will likely be recognized to some degree in a new organization. But additionally and perhaps more importantly, you’ll need to earn influence with those in the new environment. My clout won’t stand up if my actions and character aren’t consistent.

6. What is your biggest fear moving into a new position? How will that impact your CLOUT?
Fear of the unknown is probably the big one for me. That’s understandable, but fear can lead to other clout killers like insecurity, comparison, or need for control. I’ll need to keep an eye on when a reasonable fear of the unknown starts to lead to these other issues that could sabotage my influence immediately.

7. Can CLOUT be given or must it be earned?
We all have potential for clout because of the gifts, talents, experiences and opportunities that are unique to us. However how we steward that clout distinguishes how it is unleashed and how far and wide its impact goes. In that sense you could say clout is earned by how faithful we are to use our influence wisely.

8. What outside factors play the biggest part on CLOUT development? (Bosses, organizations, styles).
Other people can make a huge impact in developing your clout. Clout is much less about title and position and more about how you influence the people around you and how you’re influenced by them. The more you can seek to grow and learn from others and then, the more you invest in and serve others, the more your clout will develop.

9. Have you thought about how you will develop the CLOUT of those who follow you and if so how do you do that?
This is a huge point! Pouring into others is the purpose of your influence. Clout isn’t about achieving notoriety or fame. It’s about using the gifts God has given you and making a difference in the lives around you.

10. What are you most excited about right now?
The same thing I’m afraid of – the unknown, new adventures. I can quickly become comfortable and content in my routine. God has been shaking that up lately and as scary as it is, it’s also incredibly exciting to take a leap of faith and trust that God is with me.

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