To formal processes

Formal influence definition

After years of studying influence, I knew the definition by rote—or I thought I did. I’ve always seen influence defined in this way: Influence is the ability to get work done with and through people—without formal authority.

A statement in a blog entry by Mike Myatt pulled me up short: Influence is built on making others successful. Wow—that’s succinct and clear and TRUE!

Classic ways of thinking about influence as getting work accomplished without authority focus on building a base of expertise; building credibility; achieving connection with influential people and sources of information; lending a hand when necessary; appealing to people’s values and convictions; etc. All these actions are important, but they can be summed up in the simple approach: Influence is built on making others successful.

Think about it: We admire people who make us successful. We are attracted to them. And we will do anything we can to support their goals and aspirations.This definition allows us to have a lofty and selfish goal at the same time. Make a commitment to contribute to someone else’s success every day. You’ll grow as an admirable person and also as someone who has influence—the ability to get things done without formal authority.

Interesting facts
  • Those examples sound more like 'started by prior employees of' rather than a formal connection. If a company spins out another one that may be a solid enough relationship to model. But im not sure what we would call this 'light' parenthood property which begs a better definition for the semantics. I do think that the influence node idea...
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