I do not pray for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word. – John 17:20
Christ concerned himself not only with His immediate followers, but those who would come to follow because of their testimony. Similarly, while you are likely very aware of your primary sphere of influence, you must always be cognizant of your secondary, or even tertiary, spheres. As you interact with the people in your primary sphere, you are presented the opportunity to indirectly interact with each of their spheres.
Picture a pebble thrown into a pond as your interaction with another person. The ensuing ripples represent your influence radiating well beyond that initial interaction. What those ripples carry across the spheres they touch, will impact your ability to effectively lead within your immediate team, and even deeper within the organization. When those ripples are positive in nature, then you are building respect, loyalty and partnerships. If, however, they are negative, then you are simply limiting your effectiveness and making life more difficult down the road.
No matter where you are positioned within an organization, your influence can be felt. Consider for a moment the number and levels of people that you may be influencing through your daily interactions. Keep in mind that the ripples of influence flow not only downstream, but upstream as well. Here are just a few suggestions for generating positive influence:
- Speak well of others, especially to their leadership.
- Treat your team members fairly and respectfully.
- Actively support of your leadership’s vision.
- Take time to meet people in other departments.
- Learn about other projects in the works.
- Lend a hand when other teams are struggling.
As you invest in your spheres of influence, you are being forward-looking. But be patient. For unlike the negative, the effects of positive ripples will not surface immediately, but slowly over time through continuous interactions. This is how an organization’s culture is developed (or changed). And that should be our goal: to build a strong, positive culture over time.
So don’t wait for someone else’s pebble to generate influence, get your own ripples flowing today!