Some people think influence is reserved only for the extremely rich or powerful – the types of people who run governments or large organizations or become the face of a national cause. But the truth is, each and every person wields significant influence in their lives, from family and teams to organizations and community. These are you primary circles of influence.
Effect vs. Impact
As a leader in those circles, you have the opportunity to positively or negatively influence the trajectory of those around you, whether family, friends, co-workers, or members of your community.
Since influence is power, we all have a great responsibility to utilize our influence for the best interest of those in our lives, so let’s start unpacking this responsibility by first understanding two key words:
- Effect – to affect someone is to do something that changes the way they think, work, or live.
- Impact – to impact someone is to mark them indelibly or otherwise alter their trajectory due to a deep, core-level influence.
For instance, we are affected by a thunderstorm due to electrical surges or temporary power outages, causing inconvenience, discomfort, and possibly changing the way we react to storms in the future. But we are impacted forever if that thunderstorm produces a tornado that destroys homes, property, and lives on a deeper level.
Aim for Impact
Similarly, every one of us affects each other in our lives on a daily basis, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.
But very few people truly make an impact on others.
People who merely affect us can be forgotten, as their influence is passing and impermanent. People who impact us, however, are memorable and significant to our personal growth.
Therefore, we can choose to:
• Positively affect those around us through random (and intentional) acts of kindness OR
• Negatively affect those around us through annoying behavior.
That means we can decide to…
• Positively impact others by going above and beyond what they expect OR
• Negatively impact others by domineering behavior.
As leaders, let’s choose to not only make a positive effect, but to raise the game and invest our efforts in making a lasting impact that ripples beyond the surface. Let’s be intentional about altering the trajectory of others in a positive way for their long term benefit.
To be memorable is to carve out the gift of a good legacy and it all starts with a choice… a conscious choice that each of us needs to make.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to make an impact vs. an effect, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!