7 Factors that Determine Your Ability to Influence
Who looks up to you? Who are you influencing (whether you realize it or not)?
You might be surprised at the list of people with whom you have influence. This likely includes your children, your spouse, and extended family members. This might include friends, co-workers, and even neighbors. Possibly those with whom you attend church, play sports, or even some of the committee members of the non-profit you support.
As a differentiating value, Influence means a power to affect persons or events; determine and shape events and outcomes. This is a critical value for those that want to make a difference in the lives of others, and the world around us.
So how do you know if you have the ability to influence others?
“Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” – John Maxwell
In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Maxwell outlines 7 factors that help determine one’s influencing capabilities. While few could claim to score perfectly across all of these areas, collectively they provide an interesting metric for leadership.
To evaluate your own leadership ability, and the capacity to influence, try scoring yourself across each of the following factors using a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is low and 10 is high):
- Character – who you are. Leaders start with themselves.
- Relationships – who you know. Leaders have followers, and know them.
- Knowledge – what you know. Leaders know their facts.
- Intuition – what you feel. Leaders are in tune with the intangible things.
- Experience – where you’ve been. Leaders leverage their learning.
- Past success – what you’ve done. Leaders have a positive track record.
- Ability – what you can do. Leaders deliver results.
Which factors did you score high? What can you do to foster these to maximize your strengths?
Which factors did you score low? What can you do to improve in these areas?
BONUS: If I were to suggest an eighth factor, it would be:
- Humility – how you are perceived. Leaders acknowledge they don’t have all the answers.
If you want to become a better leader, and make a difference, then you need to become a person of influence. And someone who models humility.