Lead vs Influence

Lead vs Influence

How to Be an Influencer


Are you a business leader looking to make more of a difference in your community? If so I have great news for you.


The skills you use to successfully lead your business and the skill you need to impact your community have a lot in common.


It’s easy to think that the behaviors that work in business don’t work in society at large. After all, your neighbors aren’t your employees, so why should they listen to you?


The answer is simply in the difference between being a leader and a boss. Leaders inspire and invite others to follow them. Bosses give orders.


If you have the skills of a leader, you can make an incredible difference in your community and in your company, no matter where you serve.


Know What Motivates Those Around You

One problem many people have is that they care more about their own agenda than the ideas of those around them. Choosing to care about other’s ideas, dreams, and motivations can help you stand out from the crowd.


Caring about others’ motivation also gives you an important advantage. People will see you as someone who can help them achieve their goals, which means you will have influence with them. They will listen to your strategies and ideas if they feel you have their best at heart.


Combine the Big Vision with the Small Details

Some people have a big picture view and are always looking to the future. Others focus on details and think about what they can implement today.


If you can do both, you’ll be well on your way to being an influencer.


Not only will combining the overall strategy with the daily tactics give you a better understanding of the situation, it will allow you to relate to others better. You can speak to both the big picture folks and the detail people in their own language, which will help them respect you and give your ideas priority.


Develop Excellent Communication Skills

Being a great communicator isn’t a single skill. Instead, it combines a variety of skills, including:

  • Timely responses to messages and calls
  • Public speaking
  • The ability to handle hard conversations
  • Active listening
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Written communication


All these skills have to be combined with a solid grasp of communication strategy. Strategic communication is about knowing who needs what information, when they need it, and having a plan to ensure they receive it.


Skip the Blame Game

If mistakes happen – and they will – don’t get involved in trying to find out whose fault it was. Fault is irrelevant and pointing fingers will make you look small and insecure.


Instead, be a leader by jumping right in and helping fix the problem. By being decisive and helping during difficult situations, you will build your reputation and become more influential in the groups you serve.


Influence is About Service, Not Position

Some business and community leaders who want to make a difference focus on obtaining high-level positions in the organization. They believe that if they have a title, people will listen to their ideas and act on what they share.


Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth. Someone who consistently serves, in any role, will have more real influence than a power-grabbing CEO or board president. People may obey to a boss if they have to, but they will be looking for ways to undercut or under-implement the ideas.


In contrast, a faithful doorman who makes a simple suggestion to an upper executive may receive more respect and have more influence simply because he or she has been serving for years. Proven character is a larger part of influence than the title on your desk.


Are you ready to build influence in your organization or community? I can help. When you take advantage of Networking Ninja, you’ll create a strong networking mindset so that you can attract clients from everything you do in your business and stop wasting time at events and in programs that aren’t beneficial to you. Create an exact follow-up schedule with when and how to follow up with your leads which will dramatically improve your influence. Check out Networking Ninja now!

Your Community is Vital to Your Success

Your Community is Vital to Your Success


Being well-connected to your community is vital to your business’ success. And I’m not just talking about your community of customers and followers – I’m talking about the actual city or town that you live in.


In business, it’s not just what you know but who you know. A good friend of mine has invested herself in building a brand behind her name. She has become quite a bit of a digital nomad, however, if you walk into our town everyone knows of her. If they don’t physically know her they can at least recognize her from her presence in the community and social media.


Her visibility in the community gains her the social proof to be seen as an authority. People go to her first because they see her and associate her with success for their programs and events. Her name has become synonymous with connectedness.


Being known and having her reputation enter the room before she does lowers people’s concern about working with her, it also builds know, like, and trust factors! This is how you draw people to what you are doing authentically and without having to be salesy.


Interested in seeing the same results yourself? Here’s how you can build relationships in your community.


How to Build Relationships in Your Community

Engaging with your community isn’t just about building your brand and reputation, although it will do that. It’s about having an authentic focus on being involved and caring about the people in your city or town.


Be a Partner or a Sponsor

A great way to build community relations is by being a partner or a sponsor in an academic or charity setting.


What ways can your business connect with a local school or university to hold events or offer internships? Can your company offer scholarships as part of a community-wide contest? What other organizations can you partner with?


You can also look for charity events to sponsor or partner with. If your company has a focus on helping children with a fun run related to schooling or children’s health would be a great sponsorship.


Fun and Games

Consider having your organization put up a team for a local softball, basketball, or bowling league. Or, look for volleyball leagues, billiards leagues, or bean bag tournaments. Not only will your employees enjoy bonding outside of work, but your business will be a participant in community events.


Whether your company’s team wins or loses is far less important than the fact that your company is involved in the community in a playful, fun way. You don’t always have to be selling or building your brand – sometimes it pays to just relax!



Encouraging individual employees to volunteer in their spare time is great, but why not take the next step and bring together a group from your company to give back to your city? You can even allow people to volunteer for part of their paid hours each month.


There are a ton of different ways to volunteer as a group, including Habitat for Humanity, helping at food banks, cleaning up the sides of the road, and more. Get creative and make a difference!


Why Your Community Matters to Your Business

Your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Being connected to your community has been a fundamental part of the health of a business for decades.


Being well-connected to your community not only builds goodwill and brings in customers, it helps you attract the top talent from your area. Your company will be a desirable place to work, and you’ll be able to retain your best workers more easily.


Community connections also help you win major business accounts. Why not be the supplier of choice for the industries in your area? Why not show your commitment to relationships and social responsibility and reap the rewards of being a good neighbor?


When you take the time and energy to build real, long-term, valuable relationships within your community, you’ll strengthen more than your market position. You’ll also build morale among your staff, become a desirable place to work and reap the intangible rewards of giving back in ways that matter.


Are you ready for valuable relationships in your business? Have you been asking how do I get to the next level, and break through the noise?


Join us in person Wednesdays 9:30-11am or you can join the Facebook community here.


Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy

Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy

Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy


If you’re ready to tell your boss to hit the road so you can work on your own terms, you’re not alone. The number of freelancers is rising steadily, and a study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40% of American workers would be independent contractors.


Are you ready for the opportunities and challenges offered by the gig economy?

The Forces Behind the Gig Economy

The increase in freelance work compared to traditional full-time jobs has been pushed forward by a number of different factors.


First, millennials now make up 34% of the American workforce, and by 2020 they are expected to make up 46% of the workforce. Millennials are well known for being job-hoppers. The reason they change jobs so often is that they truly want something different from their jobs. Their priorities are:

  • Opportunities to learn and grow
  • High-qualitygoodbye-job leadership in the workplace
  • Work they are interested in doing


In essence, the generation that will soon become the majority of the workforce isn’t interested in the traditional “work hard at whatever is available for 40 years and then retire” model of work that previous generations have held.


The second factor behind the gig economy is the swift digitization of the modern world, which decreases the number of jobs humans are needed to do. Because software can do so much, people are being quickly pushed out of full-time jobs. Instead, human input is needed intermittently – a perfect setup for a freelance gig.


Finally, there are economic pressures that are causing businesses to reduce staff, reduce benefits, and favor hiring those who have a smaller impact on the business’ bottom line. There are no longer significant rewards to being a long-tenured worker at most companies. At the same time, organizations are beginning to favor hiring consultants and outsourcing to freelancers as a way to control costs.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Gig Worker

There are definitely benefits to being a freelancer or “gig worker”. However, there are some significant drawbacks that need to be considered as well.

Pros of Freelance Work:

  • Working when and how you want is one of the major benefits of being a freelancer. You can adapt your work to your life rather than the other way around.
  • When you work a lot of gigs rather than one job, you get a chance to learn about a variety of topics and do many different types of work.
  • Work You Love. When you do freelance work, you can choose projects you are passionate about rather than being assigned work by a boss.

Cons of Freelance Work:

  • If you aren’t clear on your strengths and don’t know how to market yourself to those looking for freelancers, you can have a hard time keeping consistent work.
  • If you aren’t naturally self-disciplined, you will struggle with the degree of freedom freelancing gives. It’s easy to procrastinate endlessly if someone isn’t watching over your shoulder.
  • No Benefits. Some professional level workers who are used to receiving company-assisted benefits like health insurance and life insurance will struggle with having to secure these coverages on their own.

Are You Ready for the Gig Economy?

Changes have a way of happening whether we want them to or not. Our best option is to be fully aware of what’s going on and prepare ourselves in advance.


So, are you ready for the gig economy? Are you ready to do the hard work of discovering your gifts, standing out from the pack, and marketing skills, knowing that you will be able to control your own destiny if you do?


The first step to preparing for the gig economy is to do a comprehensive assessment of your skills and passions. What do you love and what are you great at? Where do those two come together?


Secondly, it’s important to decide how you can contribute to others. Not everything we’re in love with and great at is a marketable skill. Consider where your skilled passions overlap with other people’s actual needs.


Third, it’s time to stand out. Do some research on others who work in the area you are considering. How do they present themselves? What unique qualities do you have that are currently lacking in the marketplace?


Finally, it’s time to find work opportunities. Create a website and begin to share your talents online. You can also take a look at job boards for opportunities that are currently available. If possible, create a portfolio of your work to use as a part of your applications.


Does the gig economy excite you or frighten you? Both reactions are common. Share your thoughts in the comments below!


If you need more help getting ready to for this change and moving from fear to enthusiasm, I’d love to help.  Contact me at plantosucceed.net for a free consultation today!