In business, ROI answers the question, “How well has our investment in resources and capital performed over time?”
There are many ways to measure the value of an investment depending on the outcome we are seeking.
As leaders, we can apply this idea to influence.
Have you stopped to consider the return on your influence?
Consider the hours you spend in tasks, conversations, meetings, etc. in an effort to provide the influence that will generate the desired outcomes.
Is it working across the dimensions you feel are most important?
Return on Influence
Return on Influence asks you to carefully consider the impact your influence is having on the people in your organization.
Consider these questions as a starting point:
To what degree do you positively influence attitudes and behavior?
What values are people mirroring back to you?
Are people comfortable speaking to you candidly and openly?
How do people respond to your decisions or direction?
Are people learning and growing in self-esteem and self-confidence?
Add to this list any questions that align with your vision for leadership influence.
“Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” ~ John Maxwell
Why is ROI important?
As leaders we ALWAYS influence. Consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or passively, we are affecting the lives of the people we serve.
The culture we create,
the talent we attract,
the level of engagement we achieve,
the balance of trust,
the underlying confidence inherent to our organization,
are largely the result of our ongoing influence.
This applies to all our interactions, both large and small.
Every moment matters.
We are reinforcing either positive or negative influence.
- Be intentional – clarify your influence goals, write them down and connect them to desired outcomes.
- Be specific – map your influence goals to specific behaviors you want to demonstrate.
- Be aware – pay attention to the impact of your words and actions and how people respond.
- Be flexible – if you aren’t seeing the results you seek, make the time to assess and adapt your approach.
- Be personal – apply your influence to the specific needs of individuals, not just the group.
- Be persistent – there are many influences at work on a person or organization, it will take some time to make an impact.
The compound effect of influence.
Influence has a built-in “pay it forward” function. When you determine to build a positive ROI within your circle of influence, the people you impact are likely going to carry that experience into their own circle, (and so on). This includes other employees, the community, their families and, oh yes, your customers. As your positive ROI increases, it also expands.
This truth also applies to negative influence.
Influence is how we change the world, one person at a time.