How to become a workplace influencer

To grow your leadership prospects you’ll need to become an influencer.

By influencer I don’t mean someone that’s a borderline manipulator, nor the one to organise the social events on a Friday night.

A workplace influencer is someone that understands the overall goals of a business and knows how to influence others to achieve the results of a business strategy. They often think big picture, rather than day-to-day tactical and might have a strong desire to one day become a leader too.

They’ll align their own career plans to their organisations strategic growth and management plans and enjoy slowly changing the business for the good of everyone.

And they’ll be influencing others without many of their peers even realising it.

But sometimes this can annoy people and you might not win too many friends. For example, if a number of people are applying for a newly vacated role and one person wins the role over someone else.

On the surface it might seem they both were extremely suitable with similar experience and qualifications.

But the point of difference for the person that got the role may have been the way they influenced within their organisation. This could have been internally within their team, with management or externally with other key stakeholders.

It also could have been happening over a period of many months (or years) without this team member publicly saying they were doing it.

The key thing to remember about becoming a workplace influencer is that it will take time and patience.

This means your manager or others in your team might not see your influencing effects on the organisation for a while.

You’ve probably heard of the term “planting seeds”. This is all about seeding an idea with people and then letting it grow within an organisation.

Good managers will pick up on this pretty quickly once they see the fruits of your efforts to influence others.

At your career catch ups, discuss influencing tactics with management on a leadership level and you’ll be well on your way to a successful career.