There is an evolution going on, the world is moving fast, and the pace of change is only going to keep increasing. It’s challenging us to rethink what we do and how we do it—to rethink how we will operate as leaders into the future. It is challenging us to develop new operating systems for success and to learn to lead movements, to help our teams feel secure enough to think, to innovate, to be curious about new solutions. It’s challenging us to influence change.
Related: The Secret to Being an Influencer
Here are five ways to be more influential:
1. Build transformational connections.
The connections you create are the ones that will decide your success or failure. In our time-deficient world where dreams of change are big and visions of a future are ours to own, making connections has to be about the real and the genuine—about the interplay of a select group of people who are working closely together, strategically creating plans to succeed. This is not about quantity, but like-minded thinkers who understand what you want to achieve. It is here that transformational connections are possible: a select group of people providing quality thinking; creating new perspectives; pushing you further than you could ever go alone; supporting you and taking great pleasure in seeing you succeed.
2. Lead out and embrace diversity.
To lead out—to see the potential in new connections, in the collective intelligence—is part of the art of influence. It’s understanding that by working together, we create opportunity—by respecting the myriad of different abilities of others, by accepting the value in corporate and entrepreneurial viewpoints, and by seeing the value in cross-sector relationships. Leading out is facing out—it is leading with rather than leading for; it is to lead toward not away from mutual opportunities for success.
3. Beat your own drum.
Every choice and action we take, every word we speak, has the ability to influence others and their decisions. What does “owning your choices” mean to you? Is it about making X decisions on X day, or is it about accepting ownership of who you are? Do you own your skills, your flaws, your values and your dreams? Do you own your excuses and your vulnerabilities? Do you own your life, or does it own you? We are all unique individuals put on this earth to shine. Your views are unique to you, your thoughtful voice is your gift, and you matter—you are an integral part of driving change and influencing others.
4. Kick complacency in the butt.
You have to be your key competition, so make sure your first competitive audit is always with yourself. Better your end goal, push yourself to do more and to be better. Ask the hard questions: Are you on the path to success, or are you stuck because of critics, or maybe it’s you and your self-doubt? Throw fuel on your own fire and light up the sky.
5. Speak up and collaborate openly.
True influence requires one critical thing: for you to speak up. You can influence more if you collaborate openly and willingly, with complete, honest and full disclosure. You have the ability to influence one to one, many to many, more to more—your team, your colleagues, your leaders, your children, your friends, your family. If you don’t speak out, you are not leaning out, being brave, or showing willingness to have courageous conversations and contribute to the collaborative experience. You are not creating the space to gift your knowledge, thoughts, opinions or expertise to others. You are not enabling an opportunity for others to listen, learn and add value.
One thing is for sure: The world is moving quickly. And if you continue to sit still, then you will inevitably come to an influential standstill. Stand in your spotlight, own your vision and lead out, because it is here that you have the chance to influence more through inspiring, shifting and creating movement around you.
Sydney-based Janine Garner is an internationally-acclaimed entrepreneur and Fortune 500 mentor, keynote speaker and author. She is a partner at Thought Leaders Global, which helps clever people to become commercially smart, and the founder and CEO of the LBDGroup, a networking community that connects like-minded women together to help them achieve extraordinary growth. Janine is passionate about bringing brilliant people together to achieve remarkable results through collaboration, connection and influential leadership.
She is the winner of an International Stevie Award, a Top 10 finalist in the DARE Magazine Daredevil Awards and was listed in 2013 as one of Australia’s “Most Inspiring Women” by Madison Magazine. Janine is also the founder of Australia’s first gift giving circle, the First Seeds Fund, committed to supporting women and children at the grassroots of Australia with a focus on education and employment.
She is the author of From Me To We: Why Commercial Collaboration Will Future Proof Business, Leaders and Personal Success (Wiley 2015) and It’s Who You Know: How a Network of 12 Key People Can Fast-Track Your Success (Wiley 2017).