Increase Your Influence With More Effort

Effort is great, but great results are even better

To increase your influence, you must do more than is expected of you or the bare minimum to get by. If you learn the principles that I share, and eventually turn these principles into habits then the world is your oyster.

You must become an excellent team member, not just an average one. If you want to climb the ladder into more senior positions then it will be up to you to get there.

1. Don’t Be Like Other People

I have worked with far too many people who complain that they are told what to do, even though they want to be told what to do. That confuses me, why do they want to be told what to do and then always complain about it. The reason they do this is because they don’t want any responsibility for their own actions.

I’ve asked people to do certain tasks in the past and some of their most common responses are: “I don’t get paid enough to do that”, “I don’t come here to use my brain”, or “I’m not paid enough to think about it”. Then comes my favourite: “That’s not my job”.

I think every supervisor I ever worked with said the last phrase of “That’s not my job.” They said this whenever they were asked a question by one of the team, and they didn’t know the answer.

These supervisors were only average, not excellent. They were pretty good people, but they were not prepared to put in that extra effort and try to find the answer.

Most of the time we either escalated it to their line manager (like the facilities team member did to me when he asked for the mop), never got an answer at all, or we figured it out for ourselves.

2. Start Taking Responsibility

If you are one of those people who waits to be told what to do, but you want to become an excellent team member rather than an average one, then you need to stop waiting. How do you do that?

You take responsibility and go to your boss and ask what your next task is. This is a small step, but it’s important because this will stop you from hanging around, and waiting for your boss to come to you. This is also a first step to increasing your influence with your boss, and any other leaders within the organisation.

Always be on the lookout for your next task, and be thinking how you and the team can accomplish it. How much help will you need? Will you need special tools? How long will it take? If you show that you are willing to make the first step with your boss and ask, you are on the right path to excellence.

Keep in mind, with an average team member, the boss usually does all the thinking for them. They will need to speak to a few team members to acquire the right information, so the person knows exactly what to do and how to do it. You want to become excellent, so we are going to rise above that and think for ourselves.

When an average team member is hanging around and waiting to be told, to them it means less time working, but still getting paid for it. So, to them it feels like they’re beating the system.

You may hear them saying things like: “Hanging around and waiting is fine by me, I still get paid”. WRONG! Imagine what other people in earshot of that comment will be doing. They will be spreading the word that they are slacking and reducing their chances of; climbing the ladder.

They are also reducing their chances of better pay and increasing their influence throughout the organisation.

3. Do You Want To Be Average?

By the time you become an excellent team member, you will not be average anymore. So, there will be no more hanging around or waiting for your boss to come to you. There will be no more “That’s not my job” or “I’m not paid enough to think about it”.

You will be craving to increase your influence and make as big a difference as you can within your team, and the organisation. Excellent team members feel embarrassed if they are seen just hanging around and waiting for things to happen. Excellent team members make things happen.

I believe that you can be an excellent team member. In fact, I believe you can become the best person you can be. But, you need make changes within yourself to turn things around.

4. Do You Want To Be A Highly Effective Leader?

To be a leader within your team and increase your influence throughout the organisation, you need to SEE FASTER and GO FARTHER. By that I mean, start to recommend to your boss what your next task should be, beat him/her to it. See what is required next before they do.

Then, from the information you receive from the tasks you are completing, see what is required two or three steps down the line. That is what the best team members in any industry in the world do.

Things will start to change for you because you have begun thinking for yourself. Not only that, you are proving to your boss that you can become an excellent team member and eventually a highly effective leader.

You are showing your boss the way, and not the other way around. With the recommendations you provide, you are increasing your influence within your own team and the organisation. When your boss sees this, they will spread the word about you to their peers and superiors.

Sometimes what you recommend to your boss might not be what they or the organisation want, but don’t let that hold you back. The information that your boss has is a lot more than what you have, and they know more about what the vision is for the department and the company.

However, your boss will still appreciate your offer of help and the effort you are putting in to recommend solutions and ideas.

If your boss is a good person and believes in developing the team, then they should first explain to you why they don’t want your recommendation. Then they should explain about the vision for the team, the department and the organisation.

The more you learn about what the organisation is striving towards and what your boss wants for the team, the more accurate your recommendations will become in the future.

The better you are at recommending tasks that will strive towards the “bigger picture”, then the more value you add to the organisation.

The reason your boss may not have shared with you their vision, or the vision for the company is because at the moment you are an average team member, and you hang around waiting to be told what to do.

There would be no need for you to know that information if you are not going to put it to use. However, I now know that you will become an excellent team member and want to learn all you can. You want to do this to firstly help yourself, then the team and then your boss.

The more you help, the more you will be helped.

It will take courage to start helping your boss and recommending new tasks or steps. It will also take time to get them right or learn the expectations of your boss.

But, I promise you, when your boss is happy with what you are recommending, you will very quickly become the “go to” person for solutions and ideas. That is when you know that your influence is increasing.

When you are the “go to” person, your level of responsibility also increases. Then, eventually (depending on what type of company you work with) they may increase your pay.

Don’t be worrying about pay at this stage. Trust me, the more you offer to help or recommend new ideas, solutions and next steps, they will increase your chances of a pay rise in the future.

So, start to put into practice what I am sharing with you and learn as much as you can. Be prepared to receive some insults from team mates, but don’t let it get to you (easier said than done, I know).

It is them with the problem, not you. If you work on making yourself a more valuable team member, you will become more successful. Not the other way around.

Put yourself in your boss’s shoes. Who would be the most valuable to you? A team member who hangs around and waits for you to tell them what to do next?

A team member who comes to you and asks you what you want them to do next? A team member who knows what your vision is and what the company is striving towards? Or, a team member who recommends to you ways that you can achieve what you want and what the company wants? The answers are easy.

The truth is, to become that excellent team member and the best person that you can be, then start looking for opportunities to improve yourself. Then, have the courage to give your ideas and recommendations to your boss, and see the difference that you can make.

Always strive to surprise yourself. If you can surprise yourself, then surprising everybody else is easy.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (Lead, Grow, Influence)

18 thoughts on “Increase Your Influence With More Effort

  1. Tom you are right at that. In my younger years I struggle with my workers, telling them what to do and even then they did not follow the instruction given. They will waste time and slag off . I hated to fire anyone but sometimes you have no choice but to do so.
    You post would have given them some inspiration. I have heard some people say that is not in my job description and refuse to do the job. This is a wonderful post. I hope you get the message across.

    1. Hi Lydia,

      Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

      Leadership is very hard work, and when it comes to dealing with team members who are not behaving well, it is difficult to address. But, as you say, it must be done. People who say “it’s not my job” are not in the right mindset or are not the right people on the team.

      Really pleased that you found the post valuable.

      Please return for future posts, and keep engaging.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. Very good post!
    I enjoyed reading it. Many good points about leadership and building a strong team.
    I was used to very authorative type of leaders. The screaming, angry, Bossy types.
    Today I think leaders see the value of involving their team members in the process so they feel a sense of ownership.
    When someone says it is not my job they do not feel any ownership to their work.
    What if you give them a bit ownership?
    And leaders are responsible for creating a environment where people are thriving..
    Ihave had leaders like that too. They are amazing with people. Kind , understanding and make their workers feel seen, hear and understood. and good at make their workers feel ownership.
    Totally opposite of the Bossy leader.
    Both types have their qualities in given situations.

    Have a wonderful day!

    1. Hi Hilde,

      Thank you for your very detailed and thoughtful comment.

      I’m really happy that you found the post valuable. I have worked for many screaming bosses who thought they were well within their right to humiliate and insult me. But, not anymore. I want to create highly effective leaders who will then go on to create highly effective leaders and so on.

      I want highly effective leaders to lead the world and create a better world for EVERYONE.

      Thanks again and I hope you return and continue to engage.

      All the best,

      Tom

  3. Hello,

    What an inspiring post. It really makes a difference having someone who is a leader and not just a manager. To control a team, you need to consider their interests as well as those of the organisation. All too often I see people on power-trips, it never really works in their favour.

    Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Thank you for your comment. You are absolutely right.

      There are too many power trips from leaders for my liking. I have experienced these power trips and been on the wrong end of a lot of them. I could feel that they did not consider my interests. Great insight you have.

      Thanks again, and please return and keep engaging.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. Hi Tom. I think that one of the core reasons that we do not succeed in our careers is that we may not think about having pride in what we are doing. I think no matter what you do, if you have a grain of pride, it grows into self-respect, and in turn it will grow into success. This is all part and parcel of your analogy here. Thank you for a very great post. It blew me away.

    1. Hi Mariella,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I love how you talk about pride. There are not enough people in the world who take pride in what they do, and who are not that interested in becoming a success in their own lives. My message is to change that way of thinking.

      Please return and keep engaging. So happy you found the post valuable.

      All the best,

      Tom

  5. Hi Tom,

    i like the reminder about improving as a team player. I work in a leadership role at my job, but always need to remember that I’m still part of a team. I try to support the people I lead by truly listening when they speak and trying to empower them rather than always giving the answers.

    I like the word influence. Sometimes it’s used in a negative way and we don’t always think of the positive connotation. I think it’s really important as a leader in my business to have influence that really inspires people to be the best they can be.

    Thanks for the post!

    Tara

    1. Hi Tara,

      Thank you for your comment. Really pleased you found it valuable.

      Even though we are leaders, we are also team players too. You are so right, it is very important to remember that.

      Influence defines leadership. If you can influence, you can lead and inspire. Keep working on yourself and increase your influence with your people every day.

      Please return and keep engaging.

      All the best,

      Tom

  6. What a great, insightful article!

    Most people when at work, go through the motions and collect a paycheck and they are done. How boring.

    Sadly, I have done this in many a job myself. Not that I haven’t tried to address certain issues at business and put forth ideas for improvement. Sometimes, management doesn’t listen.

    I have been lucky enough to find a place where my ideas and opinions are not only welcome, but appreciated!

    It is an amazing feeling, being appreciated at work for not just doing you job, but for going a few steps beyond it to help improve productivity not just in yourself, but for you business.

    It does work!

    1. Hi Soroya,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I too used to just go through the motions with my job so I could get paid at the end of the month. If you have a leader who can give you the opportunity to progress yourself, then grab it with both hands is my advice.

      It’s great to hear that you are appreciated and your ideas are listened to. Keep coming up with your ideas, and keep going the extra mile to help yourself and others.

      Please return anytime and keep engaging.

      All the best,

      Tom

  7. Hi, Tom, thank you for sharing these ideas on how to become a better team member.

    Honestly, I can only imagine how hard might be working with people who always wait to be told what to do next.

    It’s like always needing to push a horse cart forward even though horses have enough power to put into moving forward.

    Do you think that it’s enough to give people motivation in the form of a higher salary, career development, other perks, to encourage them to be more proactive and initiative?

    I appreciate your feedback.

    Best Wishes,
    Natalie

    1. Hi Natalie,

      Thank you for your comment and your great question.

      Career progression, salary increase and perks are good incentives but it is nowhere near enough. You need to show your team that you care about them by respecting them. How do your team feel when they come to work? Do they really want to be there? What do you do to inspire them to go the extra mile for you and for the good of the team?

      Connecting with your team so that they follow you because they want to, not because they have to is what your team really want. They want to be part of a team that is striving towards a vision and a just cause. Give them the vision and the just cause, and your team will be a lot more proactive and show initiative.

      Hope this helps,

      Tom

  8. Awesome article Tom. I moved up the corporate ladder very quickly following just the mantra you’ve so wonderfully outlined in this article. The only way of achieving honest success is to take complete ownership of the business and not just your job – also makes you much happier as a person.
    On the flip side though – as you go up the value chain dirty politics and one-upmanship ensue which can hurt morale. While I turned into an entrepreneur to escape the dirty waters I hope you write an article on political navigation in large corporates – a lot of people can benefit from it.

    1. Hi Gaurav,

      Thank you for your comment, and thank you for your feedback.

      Taking ownership for more than just your job will give you more of a sense of achievement, as well as being a lot happier. You are right about that.

      I don’t have any intention on writing about dirty politics in corporate companies just yet, I am more focussed on helping people work on themselves at present. Thank you for your suggestion though.

      All the best,

      Tom

  9. Great article Tom, we all need to try and be leaders. This goes for in the workplace as well as the home in teaching our children these skills too.
    Leaders are made not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worth while.

    1. Hi Kay,

      Thank you for your comment. Really pleased you found it helpful.

      Leaders are definitely made, we all have the potential to be a leader. As you have stated, we must pay the price for leadership through effort, and wanting to help others.

      Keep leading and keep working on yourself every day.

      When you return keep engaging too.

      All the best,

      Tom

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