Influence Pathway: Appealing to the Relationship AKA Who Would Take a Bullet for You?

When I first started thinking about influence and how it works, I was almost exclusively interested in how I could get lots of people I barely know to do something specific. Coming from a background in environmental stewardship, I had already tackled the challenge of trying to inspire entire organizations to use energy more responsibly, or getting voters to care about an issue and vote accordingly. When I thought about influence, it was about moving mountains.

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Power Source: Network

Network Power is one of the most effective Power Sources from an influence perspective. It sits only second to Grit. That’s because your network can help you build all the other power sources and implicit in your network is the fact that people want to engage with others they know, like and trust. Through your networks you can build expertise, gain access to information, develop a positive reputation, and (rather circularly) build your network.

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Power: What You Bring to the Table

What I didn’t think about, though, was Power. Power is what you have behind you when you come to the proverbial influencer’s table. It’s what you can build up and leverage, and what will make whatever Pathway you choose, more effective. What’s so empowering about thinking about Power sources is that you can work on building them irrespective of who or where you are, AND you can focus on your strengths.

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Why Your Brand Flavor Matters

When we talk about authentic leadership, we focus on honing four key components of a person: values, vision, purpose, and brand. Values are what matter to us. They help us define what’s important and what isn’t. Vision is what we hope to achieve, and Purpose is why it’s worth achieving. Getting clear on those three components is SO critical for authentic leaders because it gives them the power to communicate who they are and what they stand for really effectively.

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Mama-Bears Values Discussion: From Authentic to Confident

Stephanie and I have spent a lot of time sharing the value of values. (See here, here and here). We even created this handy dandy tool to help you suss them out for yourselves. So we thought we’d each take a turn diving deep into our own values and showing how they have helped us shape our worlds. And it's my turn.

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Making the Best of Influencing Up

It doesn’t really matter who we are, we always answer to someone. My sister, after a spin as a bartender and a stint in corporate life, eventually found her way to the COO position of a tech startup because she was tired of having a boss. Then she discovered that even as the COO, on equal footing with the CEO, she and her partner still had to answer to investors. Kara and I might be the owners of our business, but we still have to answer to our clients. Our young cousins in high school – well, they answer to their parents. You will have people you answer to.

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Influencing Outcomes by Carefully Suggesting Options

Recently I started reading the book Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. It’s right in the vein of many of the books I love to devour because it’s about the human brain – in all its confusing glory – and how we aren’t, at the core, actually rational creatures (as standard economic theory assumes). Even more interestingly, though, is that the book suggests that we’re actually irrational in predictable ways.

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Mama-bear Values Discussion: Stability in Action

I love having discussions about Values with people because we often find there are several of us who share the same value, but those values show up very differently for each of us. Kara and I had one such discussion recently, and we discovered a fun little detail about our value of Stability. I don’t think either one of us would talk about Stability as a mama-bear value, but it’s definitely in the list of ones we think about. What was interesting for us, though, was what Stability looked like for each of us.

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Attention all Imposters: There’s Nothing Wrong with You

According to Sakulku, Jaruwan, 70% of people experience some form of imposter syndrome in their lives. Fear is a normal human emotion and its existence makes sense when you think about it... Large predator? Quick! Run! Food stores getting low? I could starve! I must work hard to prepare for winter. While fear is evolutionarily designed to keep us alive, it’s important to not let it prevent you from fully living. Don’t let it get in the way of doing the things you need to do in pursuing your dreams.

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