It’s when you finally become CEO, right? I mean, isn’t that what the world seems to teach us? In our CEO-centric existence, it is the CEO who makes the most important decisions and is the center of the circle of influence for any organization. Well, I can tell you the CEO’s I’ve worked with will tell you exactly the OPPOSITE. What is the moment you become a person of influence? On the first day you show up.

Have you ever seen the impact of ‘the new person?’ A new person joins the team/class/store/shop/office and things change. It can be for better or worse, but things change. Sometimes this person just seems to brighten the place. Her attitude lifts everyone up. What hadn’t gotten done before now is possible. People get along better and, as a group, they perform better. Or, perhaps you’ve seen the opposite. The person who has a black cloud over their head they seem happy to share. Employees argue more. There are fewer smiles and more of a focus on what doesn’t work. Team members are divided one from another.

Remember, we are talking about the addition of a single person.

So, again I ask, what is the exact moment you become an influencer? This is a question not only for you, but for everyone around you. Chances are, some of the people around you feel powerless – or at least far less powerful than they are. My message is we need to stop paying attention to job titles and realize the impact we all have every day.

This thought came to mind for me because of a woman I met who felt she might never get the CEO job. There were skills she felt she didn’t possess and thought she could never attain. What happened over the next few months? The people around her showed her just how skilled she was. They boosted her confidence and pointed out how even her perceived disadvantage could become her advantage. The end of her story has yet to be written, but I can tell you it is likely to have a very happy final chapter.

The next time someone tells you they can’t wait for the next promotion/raise/job/office remind them they are a person of influence right now. If we focus on our current role with the kind of energy that makes a positive difference, we are likely to end up with the next opportunity exactly because we made the most of the job we used to have

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