Today, I have the honor of being a panelist at the first Nature of Influence meetup/tweetup/event. Today’s panel will focus on defining influence, organizing influence, amplifying influence, and monetizing influence.
With all of the social media platforms and the evolution of personal branding, this event will bring up some fascinating insights from fellow leaders. Many might feel traditional influence is dying, but there’s no magic pill that will make someone more influential by picking up the latest social networking tool or trick. I’ve always felt people were the killer app for many of these tools and the use cases can vary from person to person. More attention needs to be focused on addressing what’s the real power of influence: the ability to do something much better than most. Whether you are the most informed, have ancillary domain expertise, connections, or the most skilled, you have to have something that will enable others to look to you as “influential”. There are many on Facebook and Twitter that have thousands upon thousands of friends and followers, but no discernible skill set that they’re bringing to the conversation.
As my personal mission statement, I’ve aimed to position myself to connect my success with providing a platform for others to succeed. With the 21st Century Youth Project or the Chicago International Social Change Film Festival or even as a professor, my success is directly tied in to my ability to help others, and the seeds of opportunity that others were able to provide. I use traditional social media platforms, no fancy analytics or power Twitter services, I’ve just aimed at maintaining an authentic look into the things I care about, what I read about, and the opportunities I see for future impact. This makes it easy for others to want to retweet me, help me when they see opportunities to help my cause, and they know it makes them look great when I follow through on promises. I try not to overcomplicate it, just always aiming to be interesting. As I move forward, and trying to quantify impact, several factors I’ll be focusing on: number of people served, number of launches I’ve been a part of, and the number of cities I’ve had an opportunity to impact. I’m honored to be included with everyone on the panel, and look forward to presenting.