Interview with Jenni Catron: How to Discover and Unleash Your God-given Influence

I had the privilege of interviewing Jenni Catron. Jenni serves as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, where she leads the staff and oversees the ministry of five campuses. Jenni has a deep heart for leadership, namely how to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. We discussed her new book CLOUT:Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence.

Jenni Catron book CloutPaul: What inspired you to write this book on clout?

Jenni: My greatest passion is to help leaders grow.  When great leaders lead, they bring out the best in everyone around them.  However, what I was discovering in my own life and in many other leaders is that we didn’t have a healthy understand of ourselves and therefore were leading from an inauthentic and sometimes dangerous place.  Leaders need to lead themselves well to lead others better.  CLOUT is a journey to help leaders identify the things that are holding them back from leading well.

Paul: How is discovering your calling connected to discovering and unleashing your God-given clout?

Jenni: Discovering your calling is a part of unleashing your clout.  Each one of us has gifts, talents, experiences and opportunities that comprise who we are.  That collection of nuances is unique to you.  When you gain a better understanding of how those things have shaped you, you are better able to understand how you’re positioned to influence the world in a way that no one else can.  Ultimately that is your calling.

Paul: Who is someone who exemplified godly clout in your life?

Jenni: When I was a little girl I had a great uncle who taught me piano and voice.  He saw a natural ability in me to perform and he used his gifts to help develop and draw that out in me.  He also served as the pianist and music leader at our church and occasionally he would call me up on a Sunday night to sing or play a song in church.  It terrified me when he did that, but he used his influence and opportunities to help me develop my gifts.  I’m extraordinarily grateful that he was willing to make me uncomfortable to help me grow.  He saw potential in me and was deliberate to cultivate it.

Paul: In your book, you describe seven clout killers. What are one or two clout killers that come up more often for twenty-something leader?

Jenni: I would say insecurity and comparison can have significant impact in our early days of leadership.  Insecurity is the fear of not being good enough and comparison is the fear of not measuring up to others.  In our twenties we have a lot to prove as leaders so we can easily fall prey to these two clout killers.

Paul: Could you briefly explain the four clout cultivators and how you have used them to grow your clout?

Jenni: I believe we cultivate our clout by: 1) Reframing our identity, 2) Developing confidence, 3) Defining our mission and 4) Determining our passion (or calling). Reframing our identify involves understanding who we are in Christ and minimizing the voices of others.  Developing confidence begins with knowing God.  Defining our mission means gathering the pieces of our lives and seeing the pattern and purpose of them.  Determining our passion is creating a framework from which we can live out our clout in our everyday lives.

Question: What’s the best way to DISCOVER and UNLEASH your influence?

Jenni CatronJenni Catron serves as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, where she leads the staff and oversees the ministry of five campuses. She loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis and hanging out with her husband and border collie.  Jenni’s passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. Jenni blogs at www.jennicatron.com.  Excerpts of this post are from her new book CLOUT:Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence.