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Under the influence of influence

Now is a good time to engage in introspection, and ponder how well you know yourself, which is the first important step in becoming a positive influencer

As we traverse through our day, I wonder if we are aware of how we influence others. In life we develop deep, supportive, rewarding, and meaningful relationships. Our task is to be a positive influencer. We are each of us under the influence, which involves being a person (leader) of integrity, character, authenticity, and trustworthiness: in essence, living a life —“Being the real deal.”

John Passante, The Organizational Development Group

We all seek consistency in life and look for leaders that stay true to their values in good times and bad. They stay the course of business and life with courage and endure the storms and peaks and valleys with clear vision and passion.

Pause for a moment and think about what influence means: it is the capacity to have an effect (hopefully a positive effect) on the character, development, or behavior of someone. That is a pretty heady responsibility.

Each of us has the ability to bring out the best in others, to empower them, and develop them. It can and does change an individual’s attitude, mindset, self-esteem, and commitment.

Now is a good time to engage in introspection, and ponder how well you know yourself, which is the first important step in becoming a positive influencer. Think about your potential, which will guide you to influence others, which is a worthy cause — a way to leave your mark. Influence is the process of two people really coming together, both emotionally and attitudinally. It is a shared experience, an emotional investment that takes relationships to a deeper level.

Influence is indeed a game-changer in life and in business. It changes indifference into passion. Our future depends on it. Interestingly, each of us has the choice to be a positive influence or a negative influence.

The difficult question to ask is: How do your employees, customers and vendors view you? When you look in the mirror, do you see a positive influencer or a negative influencer? Influence is how we view and treat ourselves, which translates to how we treat and influence others.

A positive influencer inspires others to dream big dreams, learn more and become more. All business is personal! Influence is very personal! Let us treasure those that have influenced us and share our treasure with others.

Trust is at the heart of every meaningful and successful endeavor (relationship). Positive influence is the solid foundation of trust. Life and business are a team sport. Thus, we should all work to have a greater awareness on the influence and impact we have on others.

Think about the results of a leader that is in a bad mood. It influences both employees and customers. Each of us are the sum total of our experiences — both positive and negative experiences — that make us who we are today, at this point in our lives. There will be more experiences to come, which will indeed influence and shape us. Our mission is to be a positive shaper of people through our perceptions, thoughts, actions, and words. Remember: WE ARE ALL UNDER THE INFLUENCE.

As we travel through life, we learn more about ourselves and who we are. These insights prepare us to share our experiences with others. Indeed, we all crave and have a deep need for shared experiences. Leadership is the act of defining and giving meaning to the task at hand.

A positive influencer amplifies the awareness that each of us has a strong desire to contribute and make a difference. Positive influence is a virtue that keeps on giving.


Dr. John Passante is president and CEO of The Organizational Development Group, Inc. He has more than 35 years experience in human resources, sales and marketing, and organizational development.

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