The dictionary defines influence as “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.” Within this definition there are two distinctive parts; 1) the capacity to influence; and 2) the effect of influence. It is the 2nd part to the definition that is often undervalued. Some of us pride ourselves on our ability to lead. Our ability to make decisions. Our ability to impact others. Rarely do we pause to analyse the responsibility that our capacity to influence carries in the lives of those we affect. Most are able to articulate the justifications of why their sphere of influence is such, but few take the time, let alone have the capacity, to analyse the effect of their influence whether short-term or long-term.
Influence is like a brick. Each little influence that comes into our lives and effects us, either positively or negatively, takes it’s place and builds a structure. Some people have huge structures built where every brick adds to the structure in a positive way. Other people have a pile of bricks just laying around. Others don’t have the cement to hold the bricks together, and their structures easily collapse.
Influence is a bi-directional culture changer that requires analytical maturity in both it’s application and implication.