InFLUence is Contagious – It’s OK to Spread It!

Sky Capriolo

Nowadays, being an influencer is a bona fide job in the social media universe. But being influential doesn’t always have to involve selfies, shares and likes in the brick-and-mortar world. Great leaders know the difference between influence and authority, and between arrogance and celebrating their team. If you want to gain influence in any of your orbits, set your trajectory upward and bring others with you!

Gaining Influence

Successful leaders with influence have solid credibility. They’re accessible and confident. They’re infallibly ready to point out the wins and share their contagious passion. The best way to develop all those traits is to be very deliberate about it. To build influence, use materials that can weather storms, withstand shake-ups and yet be flexible enough to expand with you. (I feel like the “The Three Little Pigs” story could be handy here.) Indeed.com suggests 19 tips to get you started. They include:

Indeed’s article says, ultimately, helping others achieve their goals is a hallmark of an influential leader. You’re a mentor, a sounding board and a cheerleader all at once! Emotional intelligence (understanding your own and others’ emotions) is key too, according to Business.com.  A strong Emotional Quotient (your level of empathy, communication style, and self-awareness) only strengthens the equation. 

Using Influence

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) shares that influence is the ability to affect the behavior of others in a particular direction using tactics that connect, inspire and involve them. Networking, and specifically intentional mingling, helps a person gain social capital, which is the currency used in the influence business. 

The CCL also shares that it’s important to carefully select when and how to influence others. When the moment is right, their experts recommend a three-pronged approach using tactics that appeal to the head, heart and hands. A mixture of logic and emotion can go a long way in creating gusto for an idea, a team or a goal. 

Going Viral

Being a great leader is one thing. Being an influential leader is stepping up the game. And you don’t have to have “manager” in your job description to be impactful in others’ lives. Being influential is about how you make people feel and react to your guidance, motivation and leadership abilities. If you find yourself contagious with passion and enthusiasm, don’t mask it! By all means, spread it far and wide. Those who catch it will not only continue to spread it but will also be thankful to you for getting it started. Just like great leaders create other leaders, those who influence create the next generation of enthusiasts. That’s what “going viral” means in today’s lexicon, whether online or in person. Good luck!

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