How can I make influence my priority to be most effective. What is the significance of it and how will it affect those I am trying to influence?
Our ability to connect and influence people can never be overstated. While people may enjoy success and revel in it, yet there are those who go beyond. Those who invest in others with their greatest asset – TIME. Connections are important and how you maintain them will truly define how far along you will go in life.
We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why. – Stephen King
Seth Godin, in his book, Tribes- we need you to lead us, elaborates on a core subject which has lost its sheen over the years. In it he suggests we all need to be part of a TRIBE. He defines a tribe as a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.
They were around for millions of years and their effect on life, both individual and collective are evident.
Tribes can be strong, fierce, intimidating and yet soft, endued with strength masked with meekness. It is in tribes that you find an ‘ingathering’, a ‘welcoming’, and ‘a feeling of belonging’. There is enough evidence to support that tribes have an influence that is larger than life. It is the foundation for many a great movement, revolutionary endeavours and in some cases religious exploits. What is it about tribes, about influence that elevates it beyond that of success? Why our approach to this subject really matters, is what we will consider going forward.
Change requires Leadership:
Leadership is the ability to create change and Influence is a key tool in leadership. You cannot do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results. There must be a moment to pause (if not stop altogether), reset and restart. Influence is however, not confined to only those in leadership. It goes beyond that, to any who can cause a significant shift in people’s behaviours, attitudes, and mindsets.
To see yourself as an influencer, you must move away from the existing norms. One that confines you to make small changes in small circles. You have got to see the bigger picture and what that implies to those who will follow you eventually.
Social media platforms pass a trust vote based on the content shared. There is no denying the power of social media, what is said by one in one part of the world has the power to affect many globally. Many who climb the rungs of social media and garner a trust vote tends to be called an influencer.
Are we Influencers or are we being Influenced
What is the Influence? Who are they Influencing? Questions like these and much more are debatable and can be easily deflected by those not on such mediums. However, this is one such area where the power of a person or group can be gauged.
Where are you today in terms of your influence and what can you change to be more effective? What will you be willing to give up and what are you eager to learn?
The influencer becomes more influential, more popular and has an increase in fan base, because they adjust their sails to the winds of change and are awesome at what they do.
Influencers are Self Developers:
In his book GRIT – how to keep going when you want to give up Martin Meadows talks about the importance of monitoring your inner critic. He suggests replacing this critic with positive thoughts that will lead you to kill your inner critical voice. Thereafter, make a list of your positive attributes which is another useful technique to improve your self-esteem. The key, he says is to be honest and write the list without any judgements. Once it’s ready, re-read it every single day until it sinks in that you’re not as worthless as you think.
Furthermore, become kinder toward other people. When you treat other people well, they will return the favour, thus making you feel better about yourself. These are just a few steps to overcome that inner critic, the one that is ready to kill your ability to develop,
Do not give your power away:
We all have at some point or the other struggled with limiting beliefs. The reason why this cannot be noticed much is because it’s all in our heads. We make choices that leads to wrong outcomes. We drive ourselves insane by working late hours, overworking our bodies and to say the least, our minds. Our energies are sapped and the motivation to do anything is long gone.
How can we comeback from such a defeat? The key performance indicator in our case will be to practice the art of self-development. What does this mean?
Self-development is defined, “as the process by which a person’s character or abilities are gradually developed.” It is a consistent growth. Small changes every day to both the body and the mind. It is a commitment to oneself to be better than yesterday and passionate about being the best tomorrow.
To live a full life, one that is rich in experience and purpose we must strive for self-improvement. There is no easy path towards achieving this. It takes determination, discipline, and an earnest desire to grow.
The following are some goals that are worth exploring. Although not an exhaustive list it is a great place to start.
- Find your purpose in Life
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why – Mark Twain
What is your Purpose? How do you find it?
That which fuels us beyond just earning and making a good living must be essentially described as our purpose. Not the daily grind of things done, but one that opens the world as a canvas for you to paint on. A passion to help people in any form is a key component of finding your purpose.
Our purpose must really be intertwined with what we can give people, with what they really need and this would be an awesome achievement. When you do find your purpose, which of course is a personal endeavour, you will be more content with life than you ever did.
2. Improve Relationships
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even heard but must be felt with the heart.”—Helen Keller
Healthy relationships are a foundation to a healthy living. An increased life span flow out of maintaining and continuing relationships of choice rather than those of circumstances. They are unmanageable at times and quite often a burden. What can we do to improve them?
Openness and trust are key essentials within any relationship. Most misunderstandings happen when these two are absent. If we can relay a story in our thought process that not everyone needs to subscribe to my kind of life. And I am not indebted to live out someone else’s, this in itself is a great improver of relationships. A great place to begin is to ask, what do I really want out of this relationship? Once you have answered that question, you will find clarity to sort out and improve them.
3. Challenge ourselves to grow consciously
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi
To grow is an art and so is to stagnate. Either way there will be an outcome. How we chose to use this to our benefit is what will define us in the long run. Challenges are not the things we choose but the things that surely shape us. Just like gold is made pure in the furnace, and the sword sharpened in the fire, so it must be with our minds.
We must never stop learning. The mind is the one area, if not used affects all others. Set objective goals, quantify success moments, embrace the failures and be willing to grow through it. Allow life to be an experience that enables you to grow and it must begin with mastering your mind.
4. Develop Emotional Intelligence
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion” – Dale Carnegie
Emotional intelligence (also known as emotional quotient) in any form of leadership is comprised of teachable soft skills. These include empathy, awareness, resilience, vulnerability, social skills, and motivation. These are inherent to growth and to become emotionally aware, both self and that which is around.
It is defined as the ability to understand and manage your emotions and influence the emotions of those around. The term was first coined in 1990 by John Mayer and Peter Salovey and later popularized by Daniel Goleman.
5. Cultivate Resilience
“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived” –Robert Jordan
It is the ability to overcome any kind of adversity. Choosing to face challenges and setbacks confidently, is a key indicator of resilience. Do not get stuck with your situations or negative circumstances. Choose to rise above them. It will make you stronger. This ‘bouncing back’ from adversity is what will allow you to grow and improve your life along the way.
Cultivating resilience is not always the easy path to take. We humans, often choose the easy path out and avoid or withdraw from the difficult ones. However, the truth is that adversity can build you up and lead you to heights you have never imagined. Every lesson learned is an opportunity for growth. Find your purpose in life and follow through. Your purpose will be your light house to lead you in the right direction.
While we all want to be successful, it is the influencers that will often be remembered. What you can impart to someone else, especially something of value will be retained. Glance across any social media platforms and you will identify whose voice is the loudest. People choose to follow influencers, those who can create a tribe. One in which they can relate to the leader, have a sense of security (not financial), a purpose. Perhaps, the most import aspect of why an influencer is worth following is they will often take the path least chosen.
This is not to say that successful people have not carved out new roads for themselves. Many have taken roads that would have been considered impossible and have reached new heights of success. I personally believe that while success is mostly self-gratifying, influence leads others to look within and truly believe. Both have an outlook to influence and create change. The powerplay of what you want to achieve ultimately, is the very thing that will draw lines separating influence and success. Influence spreads. It is heard and believed. Influence has the power to bring focus to the blur. To realign, repurpose and rekindle oneself to the create a lasting legacy.
Power Vs. Influence: Knowing The Difference Could Make Or Break Your Company by Beth Kuhel is a great add on to a read for the workplace. Power Vs. Influence: Knowing The Difference Could Make Or Break Your Company (forbes.com)