If You Were Not Afraid: Growing your Circle of Influence (Part 3 of 3)

Drum-roll, please!  As promised, this week concludes our three-part series on the 3 C’s.  If you’re just now tuning in, we covered how genuine Curiosity and Connections can move mountains in your work life.  And now some Juicy tips – a Plan of Action, in fact – on growing your Circle of Influence.


In the early 90’s Steven Covey presented some work on Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence.  He identified that everything we think about and are concerned with (represented by the red circle): our health, children, work and, would you have guessed, world peace.  Our Circle of Influence, the green circle, encompasses those concerns we can do something about, those things we have control over.

Covey suggests we need to be proactive!  It IS a matter of choice.  Proactive people focus on issues within their circle of influence, working on things they can do something about and that tends to lend more energy and enthusiasm to the task at hand.  And enthusiasm sure helps produce lasting change!

In my work, I help clients grow their circle of influence.  Together we strategically connect them with people inside and outside of their company in areas they have control.  These clients employ the tools of Curiosity, and the concepts around creating Connections using a Personal Branding Connection Campaign (more on that in Part 2).  Your curiosity and Campaign will allow you to practice different influence behaviors and identify what gets the results you want.


So I invite you to consider what is your goal for your circle of influence?  Over the past weeks, I invited you to look at who you are expected to know and need to know and to think of creating a campaign to get there.

• Will taking these small, steady steps grow your Circle of Influence to where you want it to be?

• Are you comfortable being uncomfortable occasionally?

• Are you willing to use the discipline of planning connection time on your calendar for 2013 and beyond?

• And most importantly, are you committed to this process?


I came across the fact that the radius of a circular ripple on water increases at the astonishing rate of four feet per second.  That is incredibly fast!  I couldn’t resist associating this to growing your circle of influence.  Like the physics of a ripple moving at that speed, colliding and interacting with other waves, there is a factor of not knowing what you don’t know until you get into action.  And that getting into action using curiosity, connection and growing your circle of influence is going to shift you in subtler and bigger ways than you expect – to connect you to valuable opportunities at work!  Never before anticipated doors open with new ideas.

Yes, some of this can feel uncomfortable.  I once read that Sheryl Sandberg, the CEO of Facebook, had installed on the walls of the lobby of Facebook: “What would you do if you were not afraid?”  When we believe in ourselves we accomplish things that we set out to do!  So, Yes, change can feel scary and uncomfortable and in order to THRIVE, we need to accept that trying new behaviors and setting accountability for ourselves around these behaviors is key.

The Action Plan: Take yourself out for coffee in the next week.  Bring a notebook and spend some time determining:

1. What are you curious about at work?

2. Who do you want to get to know?  Who do you need to know?

3. Then, map out your campaign to start connecting with those people to grow your Circle of Influence!  Time block it on your calendar and think about all the ways you can reach out to strategically and genuinely connect with these colleagues.

Visualize how this will change your work when, later this year, you have strengthened your Curiosity musclemade Connections and have grown your Circle of Influence.

I invite you to take action using this plan.  Stretch.  Take a leap of faith, and like a new habit, give yourself 30 days to try out the Three Cs and have fun with it in the process.  Your circle of influence will grow and the ripples it produces will lead you places you have not imagined.