Differences between Having Influence and Being Influential?
The Way to Gain Influence
Asking the question of the differences between « Having Influence » and « Being Influential » is asking the difference between « having » and « being ».
And there is one!
« Having » is somehow about something « outside of yourself ».
Think about it. You have influence when you hold a certain position, have a certain title, have certain responsibilities, specific tools or objects, that make you have influence over things, processes, results and probably, to some extent, over people.
These things are what we could call external (outside of yourself) attributes.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, « being influential » is definitely about YOU!
I can say it’s about » you with yourself« .
I can say it’s about the relationship you have with yourself.
Let me clarify that. It’s necessary!
You are influential when
1) you use your mental/mind abilities to reach a specific goal and
2) how (the way) you do that.
You have spent the time to (really) think about something specific and have developed a personal thinking on this subject that is way beyond average.
If you develop an expertise, use it to get a specific result, that means you have used yourself, your mind abilities to acquire, to reach an above average level in a specific field, to reach a certain goal.
By the way, this also a reason why season professionals don’t see new graduates (and young people in general) as expert in something…particularly because lots of students follow a studying path without more purpose than being graduated.
So, as we said previously, you are influencial when you use your abilities to reach an above average level to produce some kind of result.
Pretty often, reaching this above-average level required from you efforts, discipline and engagement, at least for a certain period of time.
This is the first stage/ part.
The second part of using yourself is about the EXPRESSION OF YOURSELF WITH OTHERS.
Said in another way, it’s about WHAT you do and HOW you do it, and to some extent, with WHO.
For example, a teacher, a professor of a university can be influential with its students. Well, we can expect he is.
This example probably reminds you that a few of your teachers were influential while you don’t remember the vast majority of others.
You may remember they were professing more than teaching and had a passion for their subject.
The « with WHO » is quite important because – to continue with our example – this professor is influential with his students, and probably not much with his mechanic.
The expertise, the know-how, the available time and service ratios are inversed.
The mechanic has all this to solve the car issue the professor has.
1st conclusion: You very certainly can’t be influential with everybody all the time.
2nd conclusion: The very first person you must be able to influence to do something, to reach a goal is … YOURSELF. This is part of self-leadership.
3rd conclusion: You now understand why a position of power doesn’t always give you the influence you want, you need to make others do what you want them to do, or need them to do.
4th conclusion: Somehow, the attributes of your influence define your personal brand.
5th conclusion: Uncovering, discovering and using your different personal abilities/powers is a major step to become more influential
6th conclusion: « being influential » may lead you to « have influence »
7th conclusion: « having influence » without « being influential » will make you face a wall at a moment or another.
8th conclusion: Your influence depends on the WHAT, the HOW and the WHY you express yourself with others. Your influence is about your presence: perception, attitudes, actions, and behaviors. In one word: RELATIONSHIP.
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