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How To Influence The Industry You’re In

How To Influence The Industry You’re In

Anyone who desires to have a career that transcends a typical 9 to 5, more than likely desires to add value not only to their organization but also to their industry itself. But just how do you begin to influence an industry that has been around for years, that you’re new to, or trying to reposition your brand in?  I can remember being new to my career and new to my organization where my tenure, age, and experience seemed to be 15 – 20 years junior to everyone else’s. I would often times wake up thinking and enter meetings wondering, how will I be able to influence others today?

Whether your industry is small and easy to navigate or overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start, here are 5 of the best ways you can learn to influence and benefit your industry:

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Identify what type of influence you want to have

Influence pic

    Leadership expert, John Maxwell, is famously quoted for stating that “Leadership is Influence–Nothing more, Nothing Less.”  So if influence is all about leadership, who are you leading?  What problem would you like to solve in your industry? What key message do you feel like is important for your industry peers to know about? And even more importantly, how can you add value to those you would like to impact?  Your influence will consistently grow the more you serve and add value to others at all levels, not just other influencers.

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    Establish yourself as a credible expert 

    Speaker giving presentation in lecture hall at university. Participants listening to lecture and making notes. Copy space for brand on white screen.
      Credible Expert

      Many people only take a semi-proactive approach to their career by at most attending industry conferences, local trainings, and online webinars. However if you really want to take your industry by storm don’t just attend the conferences,

      • Answer the call for speakers and submit a proposal to speak.
      • Start publishing articles in your industry’s publications, write white papers, and guest blog on reputable blogs.
      • Become a published author to get your message out to the masses.
      • Leverage resources where your peers and other key influencers are such as LinkedIn
      • Collaborate with other business and key influencers to make a bigger impact together

      No matter which route you take, whether you do some or all of the above, the only way you can tremendously influence others is through establishing your credibility!

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      Identify future trends and talk about what’s next

      Male sneakers on the asphalt road with yellow line and title Future. Step into the future.
        Identify Future Trends!

        The easiest thing for anyone to do is to talk about what’s wrong. Any expert can go in depth about problem number 1, 2, 3, or 4. Historical context is always great but I also remember hearing previous bosses say to the team, “don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution.” However, industry leaders create significant influence not just by studying the past, but by linking it to the right pro-active solutions. Pro-active solutions that can lead to disruptive innovation and change how an entire industry goes to business, like the invention and rapid growth of social media (no pressure). When looking to gain more influence in your industry be sure to answer questions for your peers like, what do they need to be preparing for? What’s changing in the near future? etc.

        Be Different

        Brand new color pencils right out of the box for school supplies.
          Be Different!

          Not only are others looking for pro-active solutions to age-old problems, they are also looking for innovative and unique perspectives that transform how they go to business – but being different can be tricky. For some it comes naturally in which most often that person is always comfortable in a healthy debate that challenges thought processes. For others, pushing the envelope and causing any level of discomfort brings heightened anxiety. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, influencing your industry tremendously doesn’t happen by sharing and repeating what others already know. It happens by someone like you sharing not only what they don’t know, but also what they need to hear! Where are you willing to show up and push the envelope?  In order for others to think differently, we have to challenge ourselves to show up differently.

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          Start where you are

          Young people working in the office
            Start where you are!

            Before you can influence an industry, make sure you are able to influence those that are closest to you first. What would your direct reports, peers, and boss say about you now? Would they consider you an influencer on your team? How about in the wider company? The desire to influence your industry is great, just make you are known for adding value and serving those in your own backyard first. The more you influence and serve those closest to you the easier it will be to assimilate into larger circles of influence!

            If you’re not sure where to start or how to expound upon your existing influence, start with #5 above, exactly where you are. The message you wish to share and multiply across your industry will first be developed in the trenches of the ones your work along side with the closest.

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            Last Updated on August 16, 2018

            16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

            16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

            The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

            How about a unique spin on things?

            These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

            1. Empty your mind.

            It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

            Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

            Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

            Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

            How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

            2. Keep certain days clear.

            Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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            This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

            3. Prioritize your work.

            Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

            Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

            Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

            How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

            4. Chop up your time.

            Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

            5. Have a thinking position.

            Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

            What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

            6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

            To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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            Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

            7. Don’t try to do too much.

            OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

            8. Have a daily action plan.

            Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

            Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

            9. Do your most dreaded project first.

            Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

            10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

            The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

            11. Have a place devoted to work.

            If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

            But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

            Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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            Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

            12. Find your golden hour.

            You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

            Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

            Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

            Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

            13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

            It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

            By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

            Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

            14. Never stop.

            Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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            Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

            There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

            15. Be in tune with your body.

            Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

            16. Try different methods.

            Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

            It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

            Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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