Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of attending the Our Lives Speak Empowerment Conference with motivational speaker, educator, and CNN contributor Dr. Steve Perry and TV judge and legal expert of Paternity Court, The View, and Good Morning America Judge Lauren Lake.
After the program was over, I left feeling more empowered to make a bigger impact in the changing of our community, pouring back into our youth and continuing to help those struggling with health, weight, life and fitness issues.
Even though these two guests have a national platform to influence others, I was surrounded by other local Memphians who are agents of change and activists in their own right in making a positive impact and influential moves within our community. Pastor Dr. Stacy L. Spencer of New Direction Christian Church, Abigail Stanback of the Promise Development Corporation which helps homeless people into transitional housing and 2016 Overton High School graduate, Dacavian Reeves who won the Our Lives Speak Beacon of Light Award.
Dacavian was a homeless young man by a single mother of five who overcame the odds. Struggling to help his sick mom and siblings, his grades suffered, but he managed to raise his grade point average up from a 2.1 to a 4.3, started a club at his school called BASIC to help other students in similar situations with life issues, and he’s on his way to Morehouse College this fall in Atlanta. Even though he was going through personal issues, he still found the time in helping others.
All it took was his determination to not let his current circumstances determine his future and a few caring teachers who asked questions and dug a little further into his home life instead of dismissing him as another hopeless statistic.
Whether you know it or not, just as the few people whom I mentioned, you also have the power to influence others and grow your circle of influence. There was greatness in that room from different backgrounds with spheres of information and influence that can help shape the community and take someone’s life, career, or business to new levels. It’s a matter of having what I call the 5 P’s in Becoming a Power of Influence and Growing your Inner Circle.
1. Position yourself for the blessing.
Are you working on improving your skill set or business behind the scenes? Putting in the research and longer hours without complaint? If the opportunity presented itself, are you ready to accept it and operate in excellence? Do whatever you need to do in order to position yourself for the blessing for when the time comes. Keep working. Try not to grow tired and weary. Setbacks create setups. Be ready for the blessing.
2. Plan accordingly.
Are you aware of all of the networking, community service opportunities and events available in your area? Do you have a networking calendar or weekly schedule? Have your 30 second elevator speech ready? Make the time to attend these events and plan accordingly. Time is of the essence. We all have different circles of influence. Your people know people who know other people. Don’t be afraid in making small talk and meeting others. You are your brand. Someone will always need what you have and you have the power to influence others. Take that confident yet humble attitude with you to these networking events and business meetings believing you are the expert in your field, community, and business. Who can sell you better than you? Plan on being a leading expert in your field.
3. Plant seeds by sowing into others.
We are blessed to be a blessing to others. It’s not always about taking from others, but also in giving back. Ditch the crabs in a bucket mentality. There’s room at the top for all of us to succeed. You can’t handle all of the business that comes your way. You can only climb one ladder rung at a time. True leaders bring out the best in their employees by mentoring and steering them in the right direction. They’re not easily intimated nor fearful of losing their position by sharing with others or by creating other leaders. They realize they are only as strong as their weakest link.
If you have information or a business contact that can help someone further themselves up the career ladder or develop more business relationships do it. You have the power of influence in making someone’s life better. Of course, do your research first to make sure they’re qualified and have good character and integrity. Give more than you take because good measure will eventually come back to you in some form or another.
4. Prune when necessary.
Are the people in your circle positive and uplifting or negative and draining? Are they making silent moves to improve themselves or appearing to be stagnant with no moves or growth in sight? Taking more than they are giving? It’s been said you’re the average of the 5 people whom you spend the most time with. Have you checked your circle lately? Are you the smartest one in your circle? If so, you need to change circles, prune when necessary and make some shifts. When you see your branches i.e. circles are no longer growing or producing good fruit, know it’s time to break out the shears. It’s your pruning season. Make the necessary cut, move on and never look back.
5. Pray continuously.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Pray continuously that you are fulfilling your purpose and you’re doing it with a grateful heart and spirit. Self fulfillment comes by doing. Doing for others, creating change, seeking opportunities and making the best out of situations. Be thankful for all seasons and the people who have taught you lessons along the way so that you may reach back and do the same. A closed hand can not give nor can it receive.
Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—keep thinking about these things.
Be a power of influence. Check and grow your circle. Be the change you want to see.
Live and Be Well,