influence

Leadership

Want to Join a Social Media Revolution?


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I’ve been waiting to write this post for almost a year.

In April 2013, I had the privilege of speaking at TEDx Marinette.  The “idea worth sharing” I introduced that evening was “Lead Like They’re Dying,” which sought to change our leadership frame of reference.  Many of you who have followed this blog have seen and shared that video–if you are among them, thank you.  (And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here to watch it.)

As part of that event, I also enjoyed the opportunity to address a group of students from local area schools.  In that session, I introduced the concept of #30forothers.  In short, I invited those students to join me in starting a social media revolution, and I’d like to invite you to join us also.

The concept is simple, and anyone can participate.  30forothers is a commitment to use social media for 30 days a year as a means to edify, uplift, and extol others.  You can view the 30forothers TEDx video below, or check it out HERE.  Use #30forothers on Facebook and Twitter; like the 30forothers Facebook page, and follow @30forothers on Twitter to see the encouraging tweets of others.

The intent is to highlight character, effort, and ability, or thank, admire, and appreciate people. More than anything else I have ever written or done, I hope this helps people.  I hope it helps you help people.  So many people need encouragement, a reason to hope, the feeling that someone believes in them.  We all have the power to provide that, and a means to that end is literally right at our fingertips.

One of my favorite quotations is attributed to Philo of Alexandria: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”

Let’s remember that.

I hope you’ll join us.  I hope you’ll make someone else’s day today.  I hope you’ll share this concept with everyone you know.

Let’s start a social media revolution!

Faith, Leadership

This is true of you…


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You are awesome. Fearfully and wonderfully made. Capable of amazing things.

I want you to know.

This is true of you whether or not you felt like it when you woke up this morning.

This is true of you whether or not anyone else has ever said so.

This is true of you whether you are married or single, big or skinny, old or young, gay or straight, black, white, or anything in between.

This is true of you whether you have hundreds of friends or not very many.

This is true of you when you hate yourself, and when you love yourself. It’s true when you fail, and it’s true when you triumph. It’s true when you can’t see a way forward, when you are scared, and when you want to quit.

Don’t quit.

Because you are wonderful.

I want you to know.

You might also like: Why You Mustn’t Give Up

Leadership

Today Is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life


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“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Opportunity, reaching a milestone, kicking a habit, expanding your horizons…  You have unique gifts, talents that few others possess, experiences only you can learn from…  You are the only you in all the world.

So what’s stopping you?  What is the barrier between you and your goals?  What ideal self is “out there” somewhere, but for your decision to pursue it?

What if you looked back on this day one year from now and said, “That was the first day.  That was the day I decided, and now here I am.”

Why do we wait for special days—anniversaries, birthdays, New Year’s Day—to make the decisions we ought to make, to pursue the goals we ought to have reached a long time ago, but for some failing, have yet to achieve?

What’s stopping us from making today the first day of the rest of our lives?

I think we all have our different reasons, but the one we share is deceptively simple, because we don’t think about it enough:

For many of us, today is not the first day of the rest of our lives because that isn’t enough.

 

Whether or not we actively realize it, reaching our goals or kicking our bad habits or establishing new lifestyles simply isn’t enough, because most of us can do those things all by ourselves.

We can make today “the first day of the rest of our lives” all by ourselves.

And, in this instance, that is not a good thing.

Sure, it is a positive when we attain a milestone or make a positive change, but it is better when we bring others along through accountability, inspiration, or example.

 

As leaders, our line of thinking should be, “Today is the first day of the rest of someone’s life.  How can I come alongside their process?”  Or, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  Who can I bring with me so that it is the first day of the rest of their lives also?”

The difference between individual success and leadership is simple: involving others.

 

So what is stopping you?

 

Leadership

… and whose thanks will you deserve?


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I’ve been thinking about “The Influencers” post on Tracey’s blog a bit more, because it begs another very good question:

Whom do you intend to influence?

Most of us can look back at specific events in our lives and identify those people who were influential to us during those times.  But can we look back and see those same kinds of events in the lives of others and see the ways in which we have influenced them?  Better yet, can we tell a story about that influence without having to look back to realize it?

It is the difference between serendipity and intentionality, and intentionality is a hallmark of influential leaders.

So how can we be more intentional about influencing others?

I suggest 4 simple ways: Targeting those we want to influence, Establishing a relationship with them, Knowing what we have to offer and Selecting a destination.

First, we must be intentional about targeting those we want to influence.  We must seek them.  Whatever our selection criteria, influencing others is proactive, not reactive.

Second, we must be intentional about establishing a relationship with them.  This sounds obvious, but influence requires more than just acquaintance.  We must risk something of ourselves so that we not only know others, but are known by them.  Not long ago, my friend Dave Rendall’s Freak Factor Blog cited ee cummings,

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.”

Only those who know us well can provide us with such insight consistently.  Meaningful relationship yields meaningful influence.  Being known yields opportunities to be influenced.

Third, we must be intentional about knowing what we have to offer.  Once we have established a mutual relationship, do we seek to influence others through our subject matter expertise, our experiences, our altruism?  We must be purposeful about the platforms from which we influence others, understanding that the way we influence one person or group might not be the way to influence another.  The more we hone this self-awareness and practice it, the more powerful our influence becomes.     

Fourth, we must be intentional in selecting a destination.  To what end does our influence lead in the life of this individual or group?  We must be able to answer that question emphatically, and we must prioritize our investments toward that end.

The rest of the ee cummings quote reads,

Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

Toward increasing our influence–intentionally

http://traceyries.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/the-influencers/
http://daverendall.typepad.com/dave_rendall/2007/10/fr-ee-k.html