Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Opposite of Influence is Neutral

There has been and no doubt will be many more posts, projects, campaigns and discussions about influence.

Some of them have been enlightening, interesting, and useful for PR pros while others seemed to be not much more than over-hyped failed puffery.

I'm not going to try muddy the waters of defining what influence is. However, I do think influence can be clarified and meaningful for an individual by thinking a little about what it's not.

The opposite of being influential is being neutral. 

Neutral is defined as "not aligned with or supporting any side or position in a controversy; of no particular kind, characteristics, etc.; and not causing or reflecting a change in something." That last part is the one that strikes me as particularly important as we start a new year.

Not causing or reflecting a change in something sounds like a pretty apathetic existence to me. So how can you be an influencer in 2011?
  1. Be a student.
  2. Be a teacher.
  3. Be a mentor.
  4. Be good at what you do.
  5. Be a remarkable spouse, parent, caregiver, and friend.
  6. Listen like you mean it.
  7. Do your work ethically.
  8. Do something outside your comfort box.
  9. Pay attention to the details.
  10. Get off the cruise ship and get on the battle ship for your family, work, and life.
  11. Laugh with (not at) other people.
  12. Share your knowledge.
  13. Help others grow personally and professionally.
  14. Study something new. 
  15. Explore your surroundings.
  16. Share your findings.
  17. Take calculated risks.
  18. Take a stand.
  19. Stand for good.
  20. Go get (finish) that degree, advanced degree, and/or accreditation.
  21. Change your mind.
  22. Help make good changes.
  23. Give good news.
  24. Give of your time, talent, and treasure for meaningful causes.
  25. Let people know you care.
There are plenty of ways for you to be influential. Do some of these and people will take notice. That's how I think you can be influential: Recognize that people matter.  

Neutral is idling with the vehicle running and wasting energy. Put 2011 in Drive then Go.