You might inadvertently give someone influenza or catch influenza if you mispronounce influencer. I suppose you could say that both are infectious in nature. We have all heard the saying “Attitude is infectious. Is yours worth catching?” and we all know what that refers to. We also commonly use the term COI, meaning “Centre of Influence”, and we need to recognize that all of us are COIs in our own right, in our own way. We influence people to associate with us or we influence people to get away from us. We influence people towards higher, ennobling goals, or we drag them downwards with philosophical, convenient excuses. Make no mistake, whether you consider yourself influential or not, tending towards introversion or extraversion, you are a centre of influence. Get used to it!
Reflect on these points for a while.
- Do you make people happy when you enter the room or are they happy when you leave?
- When was the last time someone sought you out for some advice?
- Have you ever made decisions that were unpopular but that you stood by because they were for the good of those involved and of those affected?
- When was the last time someone referred another person to you for help or for your professional services or goods?
- When was the last time someone asked you out to lunch or to have coffee simply because they wanted to keep in touch?
- When did you last bring two or more people together in a way that resulted in a continuing, profitable business relationship?
- When was the last time you put in extra effort in order to support another’s event and got nothing out of it except deep personal satisfaction?
- Have you ever noticed someone about to go over a cliff, and you helped avert disaster by simply asking one or two provocative questions which caused that someone to change direction, but that person never gave you credit?
Yes, we do need to toot our own horn. We need to make music on our own. Just be sure the instruments which are used to make our music have a Stradivarius-level quality about them. It does make a difference to the quality of the music. And maybe it does determine whether you’re an influencer or whether you’re just giving people influenza.