I recently partnered with a new guy to schedule my leads for me. He has done such a great job that I have had to adjust my organizational system to...
Growth Before Influence
Are you trying to grow your influence or your organization? The difference in focus is subtle but very important. Too many individuals are trying to grow their influence within their organization or current group of contacts without working to grow their organization or social network itself. Is your goal to become the most influential member […]
Are you trying to grow your influence or your organization? The difference in focus is subtle but very important. Too many individuals are trying to grow their influence within their organization or current group of contacts without working to grow their organization or social network itself. Is your goal to become the most influential member of the least influential group or organization?
If you are working to start a business or organization, work hard to build something worth influencing. Don’t start out in business trying to become the most well connected owner in your community. These connections will all be worthless if you are not successful in business. Also, unless you are being completely honest with potential connections and telling them that you are brand new and need advice, these relationships are being built on a shaky foundation. Your network will quickly realize you have little to offer in return for their time and emotional energy. Instead of this path of pride and ego, buckle down; humble yourself; and do the dirty, unpleasant detail work of starting an organization from scratch.
Get some sales; serve your clients; do your accounting; make your budgets; manage your people; and do the million other things necessary to build a business. Once you reach a level of success and have a larger organization, your influence will flow naturally as other people see your ability to make something happen. While running a small unit as part of a large organization, don’t spend too much time at this level on the politics or developing great connections at work. Instead, put your focus and energy on improving the results and efficiency of your group. This will not go unnoticed in the right kind of organization. You will gain influence as a top producer more quickly than you would as an average but “well connected” team member. If you are a top producer but not gaining influence, speak to your superiors to learn what other behavioral weaknesses are holding you back. Or find another organization which appreciates someone who gets the job done. In a non-profit or ministry setting, whether a part time passion or a full time job, resist the urge to use your talents to gain immediate influence in the organization. Ask instead, “What can I do to increase the influence of this organization?” Your goal should be to help the organization gain influence. Then you will find by default much of the influence you bring to the organization will fall to you.
For instance, if you work in a church where half of the families coming are a result of your visitation and follow up efforts, you will naturally have a large influence in this organization as a result. If you are on a sales team and get more than the average number of sales, your influence will be larger as a result.
One last thought, just because you have a large organization or are a “key” member of a large company does not mean you have influence. Real influence comes when you serve others or, in business terms, “add value” to someone else’s life or organization. This must be done repeatedly and consistently. As you build your organization, make sure you are taking time to add value to each person and organization with whom you work. Every client, employee, team member, and volunteer should consider themselves better for having known and worked with you. Look at the people around you and ask, “Do they know I have added value to their life?” Look at the organizations with whom you deal and ask, “Do they look at me as a value adding partner to their organization?” You can experience significant growth without adding influence, but you can never experience significant influence without growth. Take a minute to examine your motives and current situation. Are you striving to grow your organization or to increase your influence and standing in the organization? From where does your influence come? Does it come primarily from connections you have or from past performance that proved you were deserving of the influence? Don’t get caught up in the politics and ego driving groups in your organization. Find an organization in which you believe, and then work to grow the influence of that organization.
Have a great day!
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