When INFLUENCE goes BAD

Donald Trump swept to power on the back of a claim that he is “the worlds greatest deal-maker” – but do his latest actions make him the “Worlds Greatest Influencer” or does it make him, as many people believe, the “Worlds Greatest Manipulator”.

INFLUENCE is Everywhere

The word “INFLUENCE” is everywhere in the commercial world these days.

If you are active on LinkedIn, then you are now a “LinkedInfluencer”.  It seems to mean that you are a person who can “promote to”a very wide audience – many of whom, I suspect, you don’t actually know.

We have a myriad of Influencer Marketing initiatives, which all once again seem to have the objective of a broad “scatter gun” approach to getting your message out.

Influence Media, One Stop Influence, Web Influence, etc etc.  There is no doubt that “INFLUENCE” has become the “Mot du Jour”, and it seems to be losing its… well, INFLUENCE..!
(Did you see what I did there..?)

INFLUENCE v MANIPULATION

When INFLUENCE goes BADYou see, there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between Influence and Manipulation – and the end results are also significantly different, and last a lot longer.

Here is a Definition for you to consider…

Manipulation – when your own benefits are foremost
(Win/Lose)

Influence – when THE OTHER PERSONS benefits are foremost (and yours come AFTER theirs)
(Win/Win)

 

People of Influence

You see, at INTEGRUS, we have another, different, interpretation – and that is “People of Influence”.

Who is YOUR Person of INFLUENCE..?

Test yourself – Just stop a moment and think about someone you know who you would regard as a “Person of Influence”.

Typically, the “Person of Influence” that you are now thinking about will represent a whole list of Good Values – probably the values that are close to your own heart. At INTEGRUS, we say that they are your Inspirationalists.

A great “Person of Influence” is not always a big, high flying Business Executive.  So you may need to go back a little in your memory to find your own best example.

A person who is in the top 5 of my list of “Persons of Influence” is Mr Millward.  He was my Spanish Teacher at High School.  He did a lot more than trying to teach me Spanish.  He taught me about “the way of the world” and what the Spanish explorers did to “Influence” civilisations around the globe.  He didn’t just educate me on Spanish – he went out of his way to help us all to understand right from wrong, and the “positive influence” that we could have on all those around us.

When INFLUENCE goes BAD

Power is not Influence

Authority is not Influence

Passion is not Influence

Winning is not Influence

Ego is not Influence

Having any (or all) of these attributes is not enough. Where do you stand on your VALUES..?
Strong people stand up for themselves, but stronger people stand up for others…

So look back at the definition that I offered about Influence v Manipulation

If Power, Authority and Passion are not the backbone of Influence, then what is..?

Here is the answer…

INTEGRITY is the backbone of GoodPeople
INTEGRITY is the backbone of a GoodInfluencer
INTEGRITY is the backbone which makes the Difference

When INFLUENCE goes BAD

A little while ago, I walked away from two business partners because they became obsessed with making money – whilst I had founded the business so that we could help people.

They started to manipulate everyone around them for short-term gain, so I decided that my personal values – those of helping people first – had to take priority.

So I left the company that I had founded.

If THEY LOSE, and YOU WIN – then you are NOT an INFLUENCER. You are a MANIPULATOR.

And your “Influence” will be negative, short-lived and (sooner than you want) you will receive your comeuppance.

Great Leaders instinctively know that:

  • Your employees are NOT your subordinates.
  • Your customers are NOT there to help you to “get rich quick”.
  • Your family are NOT there to pamper to your every need.

Your family, your employees, your customers – all of them – are your equals.

(Apply these questions to Trump – how does he do..?)

Used in the right way, Influence can be for the overall good of a very wide audience – but it has to have Integrity at its backbone, and as part of it’s DNA

(see related blog about DNA here : What Every Leader Must Know about their DNA )
(see related blog about Surviving a Business Divorce here : Survive a Business Divorce )

FINAL WORD : LEGACY

So what are your family, your employees, your customers saying about you when you are not there.  What is YOUR LEGACY..?
(By the way : You don’t have to die to have a legacy.  It happens at the end of every conversation you have, every day)

So what will the world say about Donald Trump – will he be seen as a (positive) Influencer, or a (negative) Manipulator.  Only time will tell and uncover his legacy.

Mr Millward certainly left me with a legacy – and I will thank him for it until the day I die.


Remember the definition…

Manipulation – when your own benefits are foremost
(Win/Lose)
Influence – when THE OTHER PERSONS benefits are foremost (and yours come AFTER theirs)
(Win/Win)