Yesterday, I was on a podcast with my friend, Scott Perry, and we were unpacking the word “Influence.” I chose the word because I see how often we all forget or overlook how much influence we actually have. The Latin derivation for the word influence is (in) + (fluere), to flow into, which is also where the word fluent comes from. So to have influence means we have the power to produce an effect without apparent force. And that, my friends, is powerful. It also means we should consider having a sense of responsibility over our influence.

When we fail to recognize our power to influence, we fail to see the impact our behavior has on others. Everyone has this power, it’s not just the muckety-mucks that are higher up the food chain. If you’re outgoing, you have the power to welcome and advocate for others or interupt and talk over people. If you’re smart you have the power to mentor and coach or you have the power to serve yourself and your personal advancement. Influence can be used to help others or it can be used for personal gain—how are you using your influence?

If you want to be more intentional about your influence, ask yourself these questions: Where am I powerful? How am I powerful? What kind of power do I have? Power helps indentify influence. There is obvious influence, and then there is the much more subtle and informal influence; and the latter is arguably more important. The next time you are in a meeting or with a group of people, think about the positive influence you could add, and ask yourself, “Am I helping others or is this about my personal gain?”



P.S. The podcast with Scott Perry is here on LinkedIn. And check out Scott’s other podcasts at

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