There is a part of leadership that I've never quite gotten used to. It's not the scope of responsibility, or high stress, or working through conflicts. These issues are quite demanding, but they don't surprise me. I'm supposed to deal with those things, and I have to figure out a way to do it effectively (read here --> thank you to my network for being there when I need you!)
The real surprise for me...yes, still, after all these years...is my influence.
Get Over Yourself, Right?
I have to admit, I find the label of influencer at best to sound very odd, and sometimes a bit overwhelming at worst. Did I set out to achieve some sort of influencer status? No. Is there now pressure to be an effective influencer? I think so...at least it feels that way sometimes.
"For leaders, influence is good. It's powerful. It's a way to motivate, inspire, change cultures, and make a difference. We're supposed to influence others around us."
So why does it still feel a little awkward to be labeled an influencer when I know it is part of who I am supposed to be?
I Now Know The Answer
Feedback is a powerful tool, particularly if the one receiving the feedback is willing to actually listen and accept. For me, the listening part is usually pretty easy (even if it's not what I want to hear); but the accepting part is an entirely different story.
Part of my development as a leader is to accept and embrace the idea that I have influence in my organization (and maybe a little bit beyond my company too.) Guess what? You do too!
There is a responsibility that comes with that, at least the way I see it, and I'm learning to accept that as well.
While it may seem like the role of influencer comes naturally to some people, for me that's not the case. Being high energy, and aspiring to be an influencer are not necessarily automatic.
But I'm learning to leverage those two pieces...and am getting more comfortable each day.
How About You
Do you realize how much of an influencer you are to those around you...to your organization...to those watching your leadership from hundreds of miles away? It's happening for all of us who have decided that leadership means a lot more than a job title and a nice office. It means embracing the role of influencer, and all of the possibilities that come with it. Now I'm fired up for what's next!
I'd love to hear from you.