Influence. What does that word mean to you? Is it something you are seeking? Is it something others do to you?
The way we seek to influence others begins with our own capacity for having something to share.
This message is about building your own influence at work, at home, and in the community. Influence that comes from a deep and wide collection of experience, content and quality. Does this sound like a tall order? Yes it is. Let me explain.
Think about a few of the people you admire the most. Maybe they are writers, pastors, business titans, celebrities, or sports stars. I would venture to say they did not rise to the pinnacle of success that earned them your admiration without an accumulation of effort and experience.
Every highly successful person I have ever known or read about has a story of long hours and hard work to get there. There are really no “overnight success” stories. Occasionally we hear about someone who is “gifted” in their field. Yes, I know there are some who have a natural bent, but I also believe those people take the gift and hone it, polish it, and grow it much further.
One of the best ways to accumulate your own substance for influence is by carefully selecting the material you take in. The people you follow, the books you read, the pod casts you hear, the shows you watch… all of these feed you with ideas and inspirations. You must be selective.
The world is filled with content. Social media is flooded daily with new gurus who profess to have all of the answers about something. Junk mail flourishes. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on and so on. So many messages proclaim this and that about ways to improve your life or get rich. Most of it IS junk.
Yet occasionally, you meet a new voice. Someone who has a message that resonates. So you follow. You search more. You dig a little deeper. Soon this new voice becomes a trusted advisor or resource from which you can draw wisdom or insight.
[shareable cite=”Doug Thorpe”]Be open to new voices for inspiration and motivation.[/shareable]
Messages and coaching from these people become part of your thought life. You may be inspired to look at things a little differently. Perhaps a relationship problem gets resolved. You get a new idea for handling a problem at work. Or you change an old habit that has been holding you back.
The benefits of selectively choosing the source for your intake can multiply exponentially. But they start with your effort to search for input and your own proactive desire to add to your library of experience and learning.
This gets us to the “C” word: CHANGE. Building influence requires a willingness to change. Few of us start with having all the answers that might command respect. We have to grow into the role of delivering influence. This means that certain mindsets and values must be reprogrammed or groomed for public consumption. All of that requires change; change in our minds and in our hearts.
I am a big fan of the TED talks. Most of those messages include some kind of “ah ha” moment where the speaker shares a story of their journey and observation. There is a build up then the “ah ha”. It’s a turning point, an epiphany. The moment of change creates a new and better outcome.
Building your own collection of “ah ha” moments will certainly build the base from which you too may become an influencer of those around you.