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How Identity is Influence

The extent and limit of influence is identity.

Identity is impact.

You can’t inspire confidence when you’re timid and doubtful.

Become what you expect.

Do you expect optimism? Become optimistic.

Optimism is response to setbacks.

Three beliefs of optimists any leader can learn.*

  1. Setbacks are temporary. Optimists believe this isn’t the end of the world.
  2. We have the ability to make things better. Optimists say, What’s next? What do we want to do about this? And, What are we learning?
  3. Setbacks are isolated events, not universal. You’re a pessimist if a problem in one area prevents you from enjoying success in another.

(*Martin Seligman on optimism.)

Working on yourself is essential for success. You can’t give what you don’t have.


Step #1: Make a list of the top five attributes you expect your team to exhibit.

  1. Enthusiasm.
  2. Confidence. A fearful leader is surrounded by doubt.
  3. Learning/curiosity.
  4. Acceptance.
  5. Courage.
  6. Contentment. A worrying leader is surrounded by anxiety.
  7. Optimism.
  8. Self-control.
  9. Respect.
  10. Creativity.

Step #2: What behaviors might YOU practice that display the attributes you expect from others?

Choose who you become and behave your way into your aspirational self.

Identity is influence.

You splash on your team whether you want to or not.

Relationship magnifies identity based influence.

The better people know you, the greater the impact of your identity.

Influence-resistant people:

Some won’t adapt. They expect others to adapt to them.

Expand your impact by hiring people who respond to influence.

  1. When your facial expression changes, what happens to theirs? When you smile at them, do they smile back?
  2. Ask potential hires about people who recently changed their lives. Make a list of 3-5 influencers in your life. How are you different because of them?

Note: You cannot choose to become 6′ tall if you’re 4’11”. But character is the sum of intention, habitual choices and behaviors over time.

What behaviors best express your aspirational self?

Bonus material:

Identity-Based Habits: How to Actually Stick to Your Goals This Year (James Clear)

Become who you are with Nietzsche and Hesse (Pschology Today)

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