You may have heard John C. Maxwell’s quote, “Leadership is influence.” The ability to motivate and inspire others to take action is the distinguishing factor between a leader and a manager. But how far can your influence reach? How can you, and your business, impact the world?
When one thinks of businesses influencing the world, it often comes with a negative connotation. Big business has the money, power and socio-economic influence to sway politicians to create a world that serves their interest. Yet, most entrepreneurs set out to be business owners to change their industry for the good, and to affect ethical, socially responsible and environmentally conscious changes to the world we live in. While you may feel small and insignificant in the vast scheme of life, you have more power to make a positive change in the world than you may think.
Here are a few ways that leaders in business can impact the world today:
Start by Impacting your Local Community
Start on a smaller scale by finding ways to impact and benefit your community. There are many ways business owners and executives can use their power to improve the local economy. If possible, source from local suppliers and manufacturers to spend more money in your city with the people who live there. Also, consider serving on a community board or finding ways to get involved in local government. These organizations are full of other influential people who want to hear your voice and can connect you to the community in new ways.
Focus on Innovating your Industry
You may have become a business owner or executive because you want to do something different or better than the way it has been done before. While your local competitors may take note of your advantages and differentiators, national and international industry leaders may not have heard of your business let alone what you bring to the table. Share your successes and critical findings with others by applying for awards and speaking at conferences to get in front of key stakeholders in your industry. Along with the great PR you’ll receive from gaining accolades and attention at these types of events, you’ll also be seen as an industry influencer, and others will turn to your advice or techniques to better their businesses.
Mentor Others, and See How Far their Influence Spreads
Soon-to-be successful business owners and executives need assistance from others who have an intimate knowledge of how business works. Mentoring is a great way to influence individuals who also have the potential to affect the world. Giving a little of your time can make a big impact in helping others reach their full potential. And, by helping others improve their business skills, you may also be inspired by new ideas, meet new contacts, and learn new business strategies from your mentee.
Highlight an Issue and Give Back
As a business owner or executive, you have a platform within your organization, your community, and the world to voice what you believe in and help to make a change. Some ways to give back include making financial donations to a local or national nonprofit organization, implementing a volunteer program within your workplace, providing Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to employees who support their own causes, or providing pro bono services to those in need within your community. Partnering with charitable organizations will help to create strong community relations and improve your professional reputation to attract new clients. It will also help you make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
Grow your Business into a Global Organization
Lastly, if you want to impact the world, consider doing business in the global arena. Even the biggest players in your industry started as a small start-up. There are many strategies to expand your business into new territories – even ones overseas. From acquiring an existing company in a new country to tailoring your products or services to best compete in different markets, global goals can be reached with the right action plan.
Start by asking yourself, “What impact am I currently making on the world around me?” and, “What impact would I ultimately like to make?” These questions can help you to formulate both short-term and long-term goals (they may even help you create a Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Once you’ve identified a few goals of the change you’d like to bring to the world, create focus and intention by mapping out the actions you need to take to reach your goal. Take action every day to work towards it.
I am excited to share that I was recently recognized as the Top ActionCOACH in North America and Top ExecutiveCOACH in North America. This honor is based on the impact that I have by helping my clients in many incredible ways.
One of my goals in my quest to impact the world is to become a New York Times Best Seller. I have just released my new book Pulling Profits, and would love your help to get the word out about it to your friends and colleagues. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE BEFORE APRIL 1 and receive “The 5 Disciplines of Exponential Growth Online Training Course” ($99 value)