When I investigate what people want to know about the subject of influence- I sometimes feel that they wish that there was a ‘quick fix’- something that would help them get from a low level of influence to a high level of influence very quickly (or perhaps from a high level to a stratospheric level, depending on where they are in their life and career).
In this article I’m going to give you three reasons why that isn’t possible and then another three reasons why that isn’t even desirable.
Before I begin though, I want to tell you what is possible in the short term. It is possible, pretty quickly, to work out the current level of influence that you have. It is also possible to make a plan of how to grow your influence, without taking too much time. Furthermore, if you currently have a low level of influence, it is possible to very quickly do a few key things to get more influence.
In my teachings I try to share things with you to help you with these short term things. However, I never want you to be deluded that if you want to be really influential that it can happen very fast.
Here are three reasons why:
1- In all but a very few circumstances- such as you make a major scientific discovery or win a prestigious award after being previously unknown- you are not going to be able to suddenly be a lot more influential.
2- In order to be very influential, one of the most important factors is that you understand your audience. You can’t understand your audience or build a relationship with them that will last, overnight.
3- In order to be very influential, you need to make sure that you are thinking about every aspect of influence, as contained in my LEAPS Model. Otherwise- if you are deficient in one of the major areas- you will not succeed.
Here are three reasons why a ‘quick fix’ solution isn’t even desirable:
1- True influence is earned over time. Influence that isn’t earned will probably leave you just as quickly as it arrived. You will be flavour of the month and then no-one will be interested in you- your influence will disappear.
2- The journey to growing your influence will be what teaches you about yourself- and you will learn more from not rushing. There are so many aspects to growing your influence and many will require you to think deeply and to be brutally honest about your goals, your strengths and your weaknesses. All of this takes time. Importantly, you also need to take the time to figure out what you would do with great influence if you had it.
3- Growing your influence is as much about learning the techniques of influence as it is simply attaining influence. Otherwise, you might quickly grow your influence due to luck and then next time you try to grow your influence in a different industry or a different area, you will have no idea how to do it.
I am excited to be on this journey with you. In some cases the path will be long, but I can guarantee that it will also be exciting. Where I can give you tips that will save you time, I will. Where I can help you learn from my mistakes and failures, I will. Where I can introduce you to people who will accelerate your learning in different areas, I will.
Learning how to grow your influence needs to be the habit of a lifetime and if you really care about the contribution that you make to the world you will treat it with the dedication it deserves.