I get asked quite a bit what the secret to success is and, to be honest, there is no hard and fast rule, but I find that the more successful people in the workplace generally have quite a bit of influence over their employees, their peers and even upper management. Of course, there are a lot of factors that contribute to the amount of influence that they have, so I decided to sit down and take some time to develop a formula to determine what amount of influence you might have at work. Here is the formula for discovering your influence factor:
(Current Position + Relationship with Management) x (Listening to Your Intuition)^Communication Skills
Now I’ll explain my reasons for using the variables that I did when determining how to solve for your influence factor.
Current Position: As much as it pains me to admit it, a manager typically has more influence in a company than, say, an administrative assistant. What you currently do in the company matters and affects how much influence you have.
Relationship with Management: The bonds that you have with your superiors is also very important. You might be a manager, but if one or two of the people that work higher up the food chain don’t respect or trust you, then your current position isn’t quite as valuable. Conversely, if you are well-liked and find someone in management willing to give you a chance, then your influence can be increased.
Listening to Your Intuition: I have written over and over about the importance of paying attention to your heart. If you are following your instincts, they will generally lead to good decisions, thus, more influence.
Communication Skills: The ability to clearly communicate your thoughts and ideas to members in upper management is paramount. If you have great relationships and even if you have fantastic ideas, if you can’t properly communicate them, then your influence factor falls flat.
When you combine all of these factors together, then you should be able to figure out how much influence you actually have in your office. For example, say you’re still a junior exec, but you develop a mentor relationship with one of the members of senior management. You have a knack for listening to your heart and knowing when it’s right to follow it. However, you aren’t as confident as you need to be and your communication of ideas falls flat.
You might be able to influence a few close peers, but the likelihood that your influence will reach into the upper levels is highly unlikely.
What do you think? Are there any other variables you would add to this equation?
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