Opinion: Potentiality Digest: Influence without Authority

By Sodeeq Abdulakeem Sulyman
Trust men and they will be true to you, even though they make an exemption in your favor in all their rules of trade.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Contrary to the popular belief that it is only when authority is reposed with us that we can effect change or influence lives, I am seeking for readers’ indulgence this moment, through a brief review of points made by Allen Cohen and David Bradford in their book titled “Influence Without Authority” to canvass more people to join the league of those who believe in helping other people shape their lives for meaning and exemplariness.
We can’t all doubt it that our society is being threatened more than ever. We are facing challenges from different spheres which are affecting our economic, political, cultura, personal and religious lives. Those who are privileged are coping with little or no problems, while this time is highly challenging for those who are struggling to make ends meet.
This is where our help comes in. Michael Taiwo noted that “A society exists to protect its weakest people, not to protect the strongest people.” This places the cross on us to set the tone of transformation and reinvention for the needy, without enforcing or coercing them, even when we don’t hold any social status or political post. I know you will be doubting the possibility of the prognosis I am making; but is it possible by practising the six points by Allen Cohen and David Bradford, which are highlighted below.
Ally: The first principle, as discussed by Allen Cohen and David Bradford is to be seeing everyone you are meeting as allies. Having this impression forces you to create and foster the connection that may exist between you and others and also always makes you visualise how you can be of help working together to make your ideas work. You have nothing to lose when meeting new people, it is your perception that either makes you a loser or fails to learn lessons from meeting people.
Clarify Your Goals and Priorities: As you are crossing other people’s path to derive values from it, other people also come to your life to make investments that may yield either short-term or long-term gratifications. Therefore, you can influence people by having a clear insight of the roles you are coming to play in their lives or the roles they are coming to play in your life. One of the essential qualities of maintaining a unity of purpose is to have the grasp of the indices which coming together with other people is premised on.
Diagnose the World of the Other Person: There is no doubt that everyone has our respective aspirations, ambitions. What drives us, energises and motivates us differ. Hence, if you want to influence people, you must deeply investigate their life in order to identify what they are pursuing, what fuels them to keep going and possibly what influences their decisions at some point in their lives. It is only when you understand these that you can help them set their future on course. Napoleon Bonaparte says, “The only way to lead people is to show them a future: a leader is a dealer in hope.”
Common Currencies: Knowing your common currencies is simply about knowing what you commonly share; the values you both hold, the beliefs you respect and are fascinated with. It is true that people are of different orientations and backgrounds, but when it comes to Influencing lives, you must find a common ground deepening your beliefs, thinking process and values. Malcolm Forbes aptly submitted that “Diversity is the art of thinking independently together.”
Deal with Relationship: No one can influence without the mastery of relationship management. Everyone you will come across in life is meant to serve a purpose in your life; to either make a deposit into your value bank or to rob from it. Thus, influencing skills start from having a clear understanding of why a relationship surfaces, what structures can be erected for it, how it can be secured, what will solidify it and how it can be of significance to each other’s lives. There are some people that are not conscious of this. But remember as Jeremy Bentham advised “The rightness of an action was to be found in the greatest happiness for the greatest number.”
Influence Through Give and Take: Here comes the highest trick – Give and take. Here, what they mean is not about money; it is about sowing seeds of values, giving other people reasons why they deserve to live a worthy life. It is unfortunate to note that some people have been influenced by those who make an impact in their lives through other means than those who give them money. The weight of every great influence is the potential worth of who you are Influencing, not what you use to make the influence. Dele Momodu shares a secret of his influence by saying that “…for me true friendship must be total and unconditional. I therefore treat my true friends in the same way, and this just forges our bonds more.”
With the points above I have shared with you, I want to believe that you have been clarified that it is not until you earn that high profile you aspire before you can influence people. Remember, when you go beyond your own barriers to get things done, you illuminate other people’s lives, raise their hope and clear the way for them to be exceeding their limits.
SULYMAN, Sodeeq Abdulakeem is a Librarian, Author. He can be reached via +2348132226994. His new book titled: “The Path to Greatness,” foreword by Henry Ukazu, President and Founder of GLOEMI Inc., The Bronx, New York City, USA, is now available on https://bit.ly/Amzn-HS-TP2G

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