In one of his more recent blog posts, Seth Godin wrote, “One option is to struggle to be heard whenever you’re in the room… Another is to be the sort of person who is missed when you’re not. The first involves making noise. The second involves making a difference.”
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I like to call these people who make a difference, “WOO Leaders”. WOO is the ability to win others over and is identified as one of 34 strengths in Gallup’s Strengths Finder 2.0.
As WOO Leaders (aka: Influencers), we strive to affect change but which type are you? Are you a noise maker or a difference maker? Is your presence missed when you’re not in the room?
How do you go about making a difference in the lives of your clients or for that matter, with any person you meet? In our fast-paced information society, the old notion of making “just” 7 impressions, before you/your message/your brand are remembered, is so far outdated it’s almost humorous to try and measure impact that way any longer. But this isn’t funny to those of us who are scrambling to make a living by influencing others.
There’s literally thousands of people/companies/brands/products/services competing for our attention at any given second. Doesn’t that elevate the importance of how you differentiate and disseminate your own influence?
How will you grab attention in the ever-increasing ADD society in which we live? Whether you’re squarely in a sales role, arguing a case in a court of law, trying to win votes, taking a product to market or trying to raise funding/awareness, there is no disputing the potential impact of an influencer.
On the flip side, are you taking yourself too seriously? Do you think that because you’re a subject matter expert (SME) you need to be buttoned-up and boring? I beg to differ. Keep doing that and you’ll make positively certain that you’re not even invited – let alone “missed” when you’re not “in the room”.
But don’t take my word for it, let’s consider Yoda. You can’t get much more SME-like than Yoda – he was a Jedi Master for heaven’s sake!
But did Yoda need to worry about being too old, too short, not attractive and too small of a voice to be heard? Heck no! Despite the ripe old age of 900, this “species unknown” was no curmudgeon. Yoda had more WOO in one of his six “fingers” than the entire fleet of Jedi Knights.
If you’re still reading this by now you may be wondering about whether or not I’m in touch with reality. I admit I have a rather healthy imagination but stick with me. I DO have a point. Yoda (performed by Frank Oz) was depicted as a rather small, unattractive, very old and frail character but when you first met him in The Empire Strikes Back, you have to admit he won you over, didn’t he? And it wasn’t because you felt sorry for him – you respected him.
In fact, in 2008, Yoda was selected by Empire magazine as the 25th greatest movie character of all time. And yet he speaks very few words and even when he does it’s in a very odd manner. So why do we love him so much as a character? After all, he’s nothing like us. Or is he?
Turns out this creature was a warm and genuine, profoundly wise, inexplicably strong and highly sought after visionary. A WOO Leader to the very core who knew his strengths and was practiced in the art of making a difference.
As an influencer, are you making a difference or just making noise? If you don’t have an answer for that, you may want to invest some time to figure it out – sooner rather than later.
The ESM Group offers Life Coaching to help influencers leverage their inner WOO Leader. “Stay and help you, we will!”
Principal Coach, Consultant and Trainer
Strengths Finder 2.0: WOO } Activator } Strategic } Communication } Ideation