There are different types and levels of influence. We are not all Martin Luther King Jr. We don’t all have big speeches to give on a massive, global platform. Oh wait! Isn’t that what social media is…a massive global platform?
Gone are the days when your influence was only who you happened to see in-person that day. Now, people will post what they think, wear, eat, how they feel, where they’ve been, and how they got there…and on and on. It can literally shift how trends behave, and what brands and companies will benefit on a much grander scale. The audiences can potentially quickly grow to be in the millions…and many times, it is. The impact of one person’s choices, words, post, attitude, creativity, photo, video, beliefs, and viewpoint can literally make the difference whether people behave a certain way…or not. That is a huge deal! Let’s not take that for granted. Influence is powerful.
With all the ability to impact/influence comes great responsibility. What someone types out in a moment of emotion, frustration, inspiration, excitement, passion has the power to govern the trajectory of another person’s decisions and actions. While we all [definitely] need to take responsibility for how we are influenced, the influencers themselves have the responsibility to realize that every word, photo, video, post that gets released into the chasm that is social media can and does shift the needle on someone else’s “compass” in some way.
I use the word responsibility…because that is exactly what it is…a responsibility.
re·spon·si·bil·i·ty (noun) >> the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone. >> the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something. >> the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.
We all have opinions, viewpoints, personal beliefs, etc….I get it. We are all human. Here is the “however.” Being an “influencer” means being a leader to a certain extent. True leaders play by a different rule book…a higher standard of choice and behavior of sorts. As an entrepreneur, I am the owner of my brand. I am the sole owner of the influence that I put out in the world. I must take a personal responsibility of that ownership. When we own our brand, we are leaders to our audience…no matter the size of the audience…no matter how many eyeballs and ears we have paying attention…we are leaders. We must take responsibility for that leadership.
Leadership means that the impact we have on others supersedes the impulse to voice and post anything and everything that comes to our own mind. Leadership means that we consider others BEFORE ourselves. How will what I am about to say potentially make others behave. Will it make them want better or feel worse? Will it breed anger/strife/frustration/resentment or will it inspire/motivate/strengthen/encourage? Every word matters. Every photo matters. Every action matters.
Are we to be authentic? Absolutely. Are we to be impulsive? No.
Authenticity does not equal impulsiveness. Authenticity means that if we decide to post about an issue that is driven in passion, it must also be respectful to your future self and others. We must ask ourselves…”when I look back on this post a year from now, will I cringe or be proud that I honored others and myself with my choices?” Does everything always need to be “fluffy” and “flowery?” No…but it does need to show ourselves and our audience respect. Even the toughest issues in our world can be approached with grace and consideration.
We are responsible for our words…whether we speak them, write them, or type them. Our words have the power to change someone’s life…for good or for bad. Choose carefully.
Here is my >> 5-5-5 Filter << to help with what to post on social.
2 thoughts on “Responsibility of Influence”
Thanks, Kelly, for your post. I think one of the challenges that face entrepreneurs and business owners is that although they are leading a company, they don’t really see themselves as “leaders.” There is a great misconception about what it means to lead and who gets to be called a leader. I think many more people ARE leaders than they think.
My pleasure! I completely agree!