I was recently nominated for a Woman of Influence award. I didn’t win. Don’t feel bad for me. I was going to be out of town for the awards ceremony anyway.
The application process had me thinking of what influence means. Influence is not about being famous, or wealthy, or constantly in the news. Influence is about two things: credibility and leadership. You cant have one without the other. Building credibility with your customers and in your volunteer endeavors turns into leadership in the community at large. When your clients listen to your professional opinions and advice, organizations want you to help them with their mission.
This is what being influential is about.
How do you build credibility? By walking your talk, participating in the community and looking for ways to help others achieve. Don’t worry about receiving credit or acknowledgement. That comes. Be the consummate doer because you believe in the results your work brings. Enthusiastically take on a project, then follow up completely and with high quality. Be counted upon to do as you say. Ask tough questions. Show up. Deliver in ways that are professional and value added. Give of your expertise, time and money. Put people together and open doors. Push others to come out of their shells and announce to the world the amazing things they are doing in their businesses and in their personal lives. That’s what influence is.