In-flu-ence* – [IN-floo-uhns] – verb – To quietly affect the nature, development, or condition of a person or course of events in a way that operates without any direct or apparent effort, to MODIFY.
To have world-changing influence, we must be willing to give something up in order to get something better.
We tend to think that we have the greatest influence on those who are the closest to us. And yet, the truth is that most of the people who I allow in my inner circle of friends are very much LIKE ME. They think like me, they talk like me, they agree with me (well, mostly). If influence has to do with MODIFYING an outcome, then what exactly is it that I think I can accomplish?
Instead, I think that influence is most effective when we are able to reach across the space between our comfortable circles and into spaces where people are NOT like us, where we do not have automatic credibility, where we have to earn respect and aren’t given it because of our credentials or title.
To have world-changing influence, I must be willing to put down my prestige. My power. My desire to always be the boss. The part if me that wants to get credit for every win but deflect the losses – to be recognized as the hero. Please don’t misunderstand -I leverage every resource I have on behalf of foster kids. If my degree or title gets me invited to the table, you can bet I’m taking advantage. If I can use my experiences to start a conversation, I am going for it.
Somewhere in the process, though, there comes a critical moment when I have to remember that life is not all about me. That changing the outcomes of foster kids matters more than being right. Matters more than winning the argument. Or making the news. Or getting the award.
To have world-changing influence, we must be willing to give something up in order to get something better. What do you need to give up?