Authentic Influence

The role of the change agent is not an easy one. Often the people who see the possibilities for change are different in some ways from the culture in which they work. These differences are often what make them so valuable as change agents.There is an old saying in consulting: “Watch out for the organization antibodies.” Just as in a physical body, there are antibodies in organizations that neutralize things that seem threatening or different. If you appear to be too different– particularly if you are threatening to create change – you too can be neutralized.What to do? We want to be ourselves and we want to make a difference.  Do we hide the parts of ourselves we aren’t sure others will appreciate or can even handle, or do we dare to be different and risk the consequences?

The key is to use your authenticity to influence others, not alienate them.  It can be a fine line to walk that requires a certain level of self mastery. Authenticity is not a choice between “telling everyone how it is” or remaining silent. Influence comes from being relevant and real.

Here are a few guidelines for igniting change through authentic influence:

Authentic influence is the most powerful force a change agent has to work with. Cultivate your ability to use it well for the greater good of all concerned.

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