If I asked your friends about your degree of influence, what might they say? And how would they (and you) assess that level of influence?
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Don’t we all admire certain people for their confident level of influential interaction with others around them? What are their attributes and behaviours that make it so? Are they born with them? Or are they developed? If so, how?
In most coaching programs, my clients and I invest a fair degree of energy into how they can best develop and leverage their influence. Why? So they can stack the odds of the outcomes they aspire to in their favour.
I’d like to discuss this theme today by leaning heavily on the structure of Kevin Harrington and Daniel Priestley’s very widely read book “Key Person of Influence“. And to weave it’s core 5 messages into the networking visibility, credibility and traction that I spend so much time coaching so many clients on.
What are these 5 key attributes they show so well to make them real key person’s of influence?
How Good is Your “Elevator Pitch”?
If someone asks you “what do you do?“, can you confidently respond with a short, sharp, clearly and authentically articulated outline of who you are and what you do?
Or do you stumble through a self-conscious attempt at convincing yourself that you know what you do? Ouch, I know. But you’d be surprised how many people would admit to the latter. And so we usually have to do quite a bit of work to get this into a “polished” but genuine statement that can be adapted to each situation or context in which the question is asked.
Plus, I like to refer to Simon Sinek’s famous TEDx talk ( How great leaders inspire action) in which he says: “people don’t buy what you do, until they know why you’re doing it“. Particularly if your role involves “selling”. Now before you drop the shutter because you’re not in a sales role, let me remind you that this is about influence. And if we’re trying to influence outcomes in our favour, no matter where, with who and within what context, then we’re “selling“, right?
Making Your Influence More Visible
I’m sure you’ll agree that our success is largely influenced by our influence, which in turn is strongly supported by our credibility and our visibility. Whether your audience is more internal, if you work in a company, or external if you “sell” or are a consultant or advisor role etc.
I was so fortunate that one of my associates encouraged me very early in my coaching business journey to share my knowledge and wisdom by writing blogs. Regularly. On stuff that matters. Why? Visibility. And Credibility. Depicting me as an authority in my chosen field. That was later further enhanced by having my book published. And today I’m well known for the almost 300 blog articles I’ve published in the public domain for anyone to avail yourself of. And because some people prefer listening to reading (or just don’t have the time to read), I’ve “pod-casted” them as well.
The next generation now uses V-logs (video) to a far greater degree, because we have all become so time poor and this medium enables much “sharper and shorter” content.
My point? Know your audience, and make sure they have access to your (influence through) key messages in their preferred medium.
Next Harrington and Priestley speak about your “ecosystems”. They speak of converting your abilities, experience, expertise, talent and ideas into “intellectual property” (IP), whether protected or not.
IP you can leverage to further your visibility / credibility and also convert into sustainable, recurring revenue or income.
We all know that by relying solely on selling time for money, we are unduly constraining our ability to grow, right?
This is what they call their product ecosystem that can be working for you. Anywhere in the world and at any time – without you needing to be there.
“Old school” still thinks that “consistently delivering a good job” is all you need to maintain your success profile. Just like having a degree used to be a differentiator, this is no longer true.
Everybody today is “really good” at what they do. Even if they aren’t. Good “marketing copy” can paint the picture, which doesn’t mean it has to be true.
The authors suggest that “you are who Google says you are“.
I find that very difficult to argue against, even if those words don’t sit well with me.
Today you have to be “findable”. Quickly. Easily. Instantly, actually. You profile has to stand out against all the others. Whether you are employed, a leader or a consultant.
Influence(rs) Hang(s) Out with Other Influence(rs)
This form of influence leverages each others’ visibility and credibility. Pro-actively. Initiating ideas and opportunities and then finding the right skills and exposure to assure win-win-win outcomes. They don’t leave things to chance. “She’ll be right, mate” doesn’t feature here.
Preparation is king. Follow up is smart and consistent. So are the results.
Honing your Influence – So What?
So, now that we’ve aired a few attributes and concepts around that what Harrington and Priestley call “The Key Person of Influence”, let’s ask the initial question again: If I asked your friends about your degree of influence, what might they say? And how would they (and you) assess that level of influence?
How do you think you fare now? On a scale of 1 – 10, how might you rank yourself across these 5 themes? Got some work to do?
Well, thinking about how many clients I’ve coached through these questions into very solid levels of self-awareness and influence, I know that coaching can be a huge catalyst to help you make this work for you. Quickly. Effectively. And sustainably.
Only you will know where you stand. Question is, will your answer show whether you are one of the 5% that will invest in themselves? Or will you stay in the 95%? My experience? Everybody can be in the 5%. But only 1 in 20 will.