Why Understanding Influence is Key to Leadership

In life, there are three circles that are of interest to us and these are ‘circle of concern’, ‘circle of influence’, and ‘circle of control’.

Most people only focus on two of these, the circle of interest and the circle of control.

The circle of interest is those big things in life that can impact us, but that we have no opportunity to prevent, such as the weather or the political situation. All we can do is manage how we respond to, or prepare for those things that happen, in the circle of interest.

The circle of control is those things that we can control the outcome of with our own two hands. If we think it will rain, we can take an umbrella, if we think the economy could tank we could start saving beforehand.

It’s within this circle where our actions can have a big impact because we can determine the outcome.

However, the bigger outcomes can occur from those things within our circle of influence. Here we cannot guarantee the outcome because of what we do, but we might be able to push the outcome towards one direction or the other.

Take for example employee engagement, you cannot decide whether a particular employee will be engaged or not, but you could influence it by your actions.

If you are negative, lack confidence or are not enthusiastic for a topic which should your team be.

Whereas if you are passionate, committed, and full of confidence, then that might encourage them to become more engaged. Your team will often reflect your attitude, you cannot make them do it, but by setting a great role model and example many will follow it, not all because you don’t have control, but definitely some.

Leadership is all about influence, yes your position gives you authority, but it doesn’t mean that people have to follow you wholeheartedly and with passion. That only comes through your actions, which could influence them.

More importantly, those people who don’t report to you directly you have zero control over them, but again by your actions you can influence them.

I learned this when I decided to run my first marathon, once I was committed, and fully into the training, my passion and enthusiasm, and the example i set actually got other people approaching me and asking me if they could run with me.

That was due to the influence of my actions.

If you want to become a leader and not just a holder of authority, you need to understand influence, what it is, where it comes from, and how you can increase it.

It is influence that allows us to extend our impact beyond those things that are just within our control.

Ìf you want to learn more about how to increase your influence, click this link to reach out and lets set up a time to talk.