Recognising your Sphere of Influence

28 10 2011

Recent psychology research shows that when you are influential – or at least when you believe you have a decent amount of influence on the people around you – you tend to be happier. Researchers, Drs. Sommer and Bourgeois from Baruch College and Florida Gulf Coast University, clearly showed that the more influential you feel you are, the greater your overall subjective well-being (http://bit.ly/nFTedf). Being influential leads to a sense of worth, feeling in control and a belief that life is purposeful.  Thus, thinking of yourself as influential leads to well-being or happiness. 

 

So if you want to increase your levels of happiness and life satisfaction, how about working on either (1 increasing your influence on those around you, or (2 increasing your awareness of just how much influence you DO already have?

Popular business coach Robin Sharma is famous for saying “we are all leaders, whether we know it or not, and whether we have a title or not”. Most of us do not even begin to comprehend the level of influence we have on the people around us, and the level of impact we can have on our immediate circle of friends / family / loved ones / colleagues, and how that impact can radiate out into the wider world. “Social network” studies have also been conducted on the effects of attitude changes in one person, and how those effects travel from one person to another, often up to three or four ‘degrees of separation’, almost like a virus. So if Johhny becomes very upbeat and positive for a week, his cousin Mark will be more like this too, and pass it on to his girlfriend Nina who also passes it on to her work colleagues, etc.

Given the above, how about trying out a simple exercise. Stop for a moment, get yourself a pen and paper (or a Word document!). Start writing a list of everyone in your ‘inner circle’ – i.e. those you would want at your wedding, those closest to you. And think about their lives, what they are struggling with at the moment, the weaknesses they have, the encouragement they might need. Think about how you could contribute more and better to their lives, and how you could use your closeness to really benefit them. Next, move to your outer circle, and start listing the people who you know but may not be so close to. This will take much longer, so it may be easier to just think about them rather than write them all down. Go through your phone contacts, Facebook friends, and email contacts – that should be a pretty comprehensive overview.

You will probably find you will have 20-40 people in your ‘inner circle’, and 100 – 300 in your outer. How is that for numbers? By sheer volume alone, you can’t deny that no matter who you are or what your position is in life, soceity, the world, YOU HAVE INFLUENCE. If you dramatically changed your behaviour, it is GUARANTEED to have an impact and an influence on the world around you. Everyone has a certain degree of influence – and remember, influence is not all about being able to tell people what to do. It’s about the living reality that if you change your behaviour, or attitude, other people NOTICE and will be affected, whether they want to be or not.

Think about how much influence you have. What potential you have! With great power comes great responsibility. Make a decision today to become more aware, and more proactive, in the way you live and operate in relation to the people around you. You might just be surprised by the effect you can have on your world – and the increased levels of satisfaction, purpose and meaning you can experience as a result 🙂

– Quinton





BE THE CEO OF YOU INC.

9 05 2011

Just read this brilliant article by world leading business brain, Robin Sharma. Enjoy. 

–          Quinton

DU TELECOM, the upstart telco in Dubai, that in just four years has become truly world-class, brought me in to speak at a special function for a few hundred of their CEO clients. My job was to inspire them, to challenge them and to help them get their leadership genius to its next level of excellence. As I finished, I offered them 6 challenges:

1. GET OUT AND EXPLORE: Extracurricular activities are not a waste of time. The best leaders are interesting people. They pursue passions. They love art. They experience unforgettable travel. And they engage in conversations with fascinating people. This allows them to stay inspired. And hungry. And offers them a steady stream of ideas that actually makes their businesses more successful.

2. LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE WITH THE DIRTIEST HANDS: Want to know what your customers love – and can’t stand – about your business? Listen to the people on the front line. The grocery clerk hears exactly what’s being said about the products on the shelves. The person answering the phone knows what people are most dissatisfied with. The technician gets exactly what needs to be fixed for the brand to grow. Learn to listen to the people who are closest to your customers. The data they carry is priceless.

3. YOU ARE PAID NOT ONLY TO WORK. YOU ARE PAID TO BE SCARED:  It’s easy to do what you do every day until it becomes second nature. But what leadership’s truly about is having the courage to out-think + out-perform who you were yesterday. And that’s scary. Because you need to consistently do what’s uncomfortable. But all growth lies on the outer edges of your comfort zone. Commit to not just doing your work but accepting the challenges that frighten you.

4. HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH: These were peak-performing CEOs leading 24/7 careers. There was utter silence in the room when I shared this statement: “Health is the crown on the well man’s head that only the ill person can see”. Why be the richest person in the graveyard? And what’s the point of getting to the mountaintop but reaching it sick? Get serious about becoming superfit. Then watch the caliber of your work and the quality of your life fly.

5.  FAMILY FIRST: With children, we have a little window of opportunity. And once it closes, it’s very hard to open it up again. Having a strong family foundation of deep relationships with those you love makes you a more effective businessperson. And who wants to get to the end of your career and realize you’re all alone?

6. BE VALUABLE: Business, to me, is nothing more than a breathtakingly great vehicle to deliver unusual value to as many people as possible. Want to double your sales? Then double the value you bring to your customers. And the whole game of life’s about much of the same thing: contribution. Being of value. Making a difference. No one on their deathbed wished they had made more money. Most of us do wish we have had a greater impact. As a seminar participant in Qatar shared with me: “The measure of the greatness of a person is the length their shadow casts on the future.”

Why do I share the 6 challenges I offered to the CEO crowd with you? Because you are the CEO of your own career and the Leader of your own life. I encourage – and challenge – you to reflect on these ideas and then to act on them with speed. There’s never been a bigger need for leaders in our organizations and within our world. And whether you have a title or not, that need applies to you.

LEADERSHIP QUOTES TO THINK ABOUT 

 “There’s been nothing but discipline, discipline, discipline all my life.” – Celine Dion

 “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” – Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon Winner 

 “The average are addicted to leisure. The exceptional are obsessed with learning.” – Robin Sharma on Twitter





“If” – by Rudyard Kipling

22 02 2011

IF you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,                    

Or if lied about, you don’t deal in lies,

Or if hated, you don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;             

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by rogues to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,              

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;                    

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,               

Or walk with Kings yet keep the common touch,

if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,                     

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – what is more – you’ll be a Man, my son.





9 Ways To Deal With People Who Bother You

14 09 2010

Everyone has faced someone that has bothered them at some point in life. Sometimes we can deal with them, and sometimes we need a little help. Lifehack.org provided this blog on how best to deal with such people and such situations.

They might be business associates, colleagues, friends, or even family members and relatives but whoever they are, we need to learn how to manage them and our feelings towards them. Here are 9 top tips:

1. You can only change yourself: Always remember that it’s not about changing others, but about changing yourself and how you deal with the situation. You can try to change others, but it probably won’t work. What will work is changing your reaction to that person or situation and your perception of it.

2. Draw your boundaries: Clarify what you will and won’t tolerate and then stick with it. It is of utmost importance to protect yourself and your personal space and to be clear on what behaviour is or isn’t acceptable. If you don’t do so, it’s easy for you to be pushed around and end up feeling miserable.

3. Be upfront about where you stand: People aren’t mind readers. They may not even be aware that they are upsetting you. Give off some signs that you are not happy with the situation. And if you do have to deal with them, be clear how much time you have for them. Or cut the face to face communication and deal with the person via text or email.

4. Be firm when needed: Stand your ground! If the person continues to upset you, draw the line right there. Be strong and push back. Be firm on your boundaries and you will find yourself a lot happier and more content.

5. Ignore them: Responding to this person pretty much affirms their behaviour and gives them a reason to continue doing what they’re doing. Ignoring it is sometimes the best option and they’ll have to seek find someone else to pester!

6. Don’t take it personally: Most of the time, these people behave the same way around others too so don’t think that it is because of you. Growing to realise that the behaviour does not relate personally to you will help you deal with the person themselves.

7. Observe how others handle them: Watching how other people deal with the same person you have issues with is a great way to work out how to deal with the situation. Take a back seat by broaching a topic that’s relevant between the two of them and play the silent role in the situation. You will get interesting results.

8. Show kindness: A lot of the time, the person you are having trouble with behaves the way they do because they just want someone to listen to them. Why not try hearing what they have to say and be sympathetic. Don’t impose on them, but just be there and empathise. It might just do the trick.

9. Help them: Last but not least, reach out a hand. As well as giving them a listening ear, check with them if they need any help, or if there is anything you can do to help them. Help them to uncover their problem but fix it for themselves so that they don’t pester you or rely on you to be around.





Be Responsive, Be Successful

13 09 2010

– Adapted from an article on Get Rich Slowly

I found a piece last week that addresses an important facet of personal relationships. Michael Hyatt is often asked, “What’s the secret of your success?” His answer: “Responsiveness.”

So many people I meet are unresponsive. They don’t return their phone calls promptly. They don’t answer their emails quickly. They don’t complete their assignments on time. They promise to do something and never follow through. They have to be reminded, prodded, and nagged. This behaviour creates work for everyone else and eats into their own productivity. Hyatt is describing the good old-fashioned procrastinator. Procrastination springs from many sources — stress, over-commitment, depression, fear of failure — but ultimately it hurts both the procrastinator and those around him.

 Reality is that we live in an “instant world.” People want instant results. They don’t want to wait. And if they have to wait on you, their frustration and resentment grows. They begin to see you as an obstacle to getting their work done. If that happens, it will begin to impact your reputation. Your actions affect how other people see you. If you’re unresponsive, people will look for other ways to get their job done. If you’re an unresponsive salesman, your customers will call somebody else. If you’re an unresponsive manager, your employees will work around you, not with you. But if people know they can count on you, they’ll seek your assistance in the future, and you’ll be rewarded with increased reputation and responsibility.

Not sure how others see you? Ask them to tell you the things you never hear. The truth is, you are building your reputation — your brand — one response at a time…You can’t afford to be unresponsive. It is a career-killer. My basic rule is this: respond immediately unless there is a good reason to wait. Free Money Finance often states “your career is your most valuable financial asset.” It’s true. Responsiveness will help you to succeed at work; lack of responsiveness will lead you to fail.

The great thing about being responsive is that it will quickly differentiate you from your peers. People love doing business with responsive people. Nothing will advance your career faster than this. Here are some ways to become more responsive:

•Develop a positive attitude.

•Modify your environment to eliminate distractions.

•Learn to put others’ needs before your own, especially on the job.

•Think creatively — reach your goal through any means necessary.

•Compare your actions with your personal values: are they in line with each other?

•Implement a system to assist you in Getting Things Done.

•Don’t be a slavish adherent to rules and procedures — be flexible.

•Don’t put things off — take care of them now.

Just do it!

– Quinton





Technology – Communication or Connection?

28 06 2010

There are tens of thousands of businesses making many millions a year in profits that still haven’t ever heard of twitter, blogs or Facebook. Are they all wrong? Have they missed out or is the joke really on us?

They do business through personal relationships, by delivering great customer service and it’s working for them. They’re more successful than most of those businesses who spend hours pontificating about how others lose out by missing social media and the latest wave. And yet they’re doing business. Great business. Not writing about it. Doing it.

I’m continually amazed by the number of people on Twitter and on blogs, and the growth of people (and brands) on Facebook. But I’m also amazed by how so many of us are spending our time. The echo chamber we’re building is getting larger and louder. More megaphones don’t equal a better dialogue.

We’ve become slaves to our mobile devices and the glow of our screens. It used to be much more simple and, somewhere, simple turned into slow. We walk the streets with our heads down staring into 3-inch screens while the world whisks by doing the same. And yet, we’re convinced we are more connected to each other than ever before.

Multi-tasking has become a badge of honour.

I want to know why.

I don’t have all the answers to these questions but I find myself thinking about them more and more. In between tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates.

**

– Howard Mann – speaker, entrepreneur and author of Your Business Brickyard.





How to get ahead

23 06 2010

You are a business. How can you cut your marketing budget?

You are a person. How can you get ahead.. get promoted.. get recognised.. grow in influence?

Short answer: Do insanely awesome work.

That kind of work markets itself and you.

– Adapted from a quote by author Rajesh Setty