Strategic Influencer: Making Big Impact and Attracting Opportunities with Ease!

Published on May 31, 2012 by Anne Raymond

Do you carve out time in your week to sit back and think and reflect about where you can make the biggest impact with your expertise and knowledge? Or are you buried in the weeds and getting the job done without a chance to look up?

If you're like most people in this do-more-with-less-world, then you're probably overloaded without enough time to go to lunch let alone searching out opportunities to do more! But this is your opportunity to make a change!!!

If you become a "Strategic Influencer" in your organization (and in your life), you'll start to attract big opportunities with ease! Wouldn't that be great to be invited to the table at the next big project instead of wondering why you weren't included AGAIN?!!

Now is your chance to make your QUANTUM LEAP and become a Strategic Influencer!

Here are 5 keys to get you going:

1) Carve Out Big Thinking Time

Moving from reacting to things around you to proactively going after something important is easier said than done now more than ever! Not do we only have more volume of work but there are more meetings, emails, and distractions in our midst.

Be clear about where you're going so you can filter out some of the noise and clear your head so you are setting yourself up for success when you do make the time! Be open to change the way you are currently working….simplify, delete, and delegate and stop volunteering for more things that are not aligned with what YOU WANT!

Now it is the moment of truth! Are you willing to set up regular recurring meetings in your schedule with yourself to start this transformation??! Pick a time that isn't likely going to be interrupted as this is one of the biggest challenges in keeping "the date" with yourself.

2) Know Your Value

When your strengths and your passion are aligned with your greatest value, you have a deep "knowing" of your worth. This gives you an internal guidance system that allows you to navigate the waters and raise your hand to say "yes" when an opportunity presents itself that is a good fit. It also gives you the just-do-it attitude to create an opportunity and take the risks necessary to go after it!

When you know the value you bring to the table, your confidence soars and you can be your authentic self! And not surprising, the more aligned you are with your value, the more productive and creative you naturally become! This is a great recipe for focus and fulfillment!

3) Build Connections

One of the biggest mistakes that I see many people make these days is not investing the time to build valuable meaningful connections with people in their group, their company (especially across functional boundaries) and with industry. It is the best way to get known and build your credibility.

And you don't have to go to "networking" events to connect with people if that is not your thing. Having coffee, lunch, or doing a presentation in-line with your expertise will provide great value and will naturally raise your visibility.

An opportunity that frequently gets missed to build connections is simply to do it at the beginning of meetings. Take a few minutes to connect with people at the beginning and be willing to share something about yourself as well (of course, not TMI – Too Much Information!) before you get down to business. You'll be amazed at how much more open people are and willing to engage in the meeting. Don't make the mistake that I did years ago by being too "serious" at work!

4) Strategic Thinking

Everyone has the ability to strategically think about their area of expertise and come up with amazing innovative ideas to make things better! When you are aligned with your value then you are in your most productive, creative, and innovative. Innovation can happen at all levels in the organization with all sorts of problems and challenges.

The key to strategic thinking is to make the time to think and reflect – something that seems to be going the way of the doe-doe bird! I am fascinated about how the brain works especially in the way we think, make decisions, and take action. Our reptilian brain is the part of the brain that is responsible for reacting to things of a threatening nature as in the "fight or flight" response. It gets in overdrive for most people in this highly interactive quick response world. We don't often allow ourselves the chance to use our "big thinking" neocortex that allows for reflection, learning, and connecting-the-dots to come out with BIG IDEAS!

Now it's your turn to use that big thinking brain to find a big juicy problem that can make a big a big impact. Allow yourself the time to think and reflect about that problem. Make sure the problem you pick is something that you are passionate about and aligns with your value! Here you will do your best work. Pick something that is vertical and deep (like a functional area), something that is horizontal and broad that goes across the organization, or something that you see is happening outside your company!

When you carve out the time in your schedule, consider picking a specific action to do and perhaps a location where you can get unplugged and won't get interrupted! You can also structure the time to be used as a "brainstorming session" for one and turn the problem into a question that your brain can answer! Come up with your own Point of View for the next step.

5) Collaborative Influence and Buy-In

Now it's time to go and connect with those people in your trusted circle and bounce your ideas off of them. Get their input so you can understand a different perspective and some of the challenges that need to be overcome. And it's even a good excuse to forge new relationships with people you wouldn't always connect with especially across the organization, outside the company, and senior leaders!

Next step is to put a solid plan together focusing on the outcome (the result!) and getting buy-in to go do it! Create your own big opportunity to make a big difference for your company and for yourself.

Now, you'll be well on your way to making your big idea happen and become a Strategic Influencer that gets known for making big things happen that will have big impact!

With a strong track record of results, you'll soon be attracting all sorts of opportunities your way!

PS. Why not forward to a friend right now so they can have the success they deserve too!