Leaders Should Think Bigger

For everything you do, think bigger, think multi-dimensional, think ramifications and think ripple effect. Broaden your horizons.

Last week I spoke at the HOW Mind Your Own Business Conference. There was a group of amazingly talented individuals in that room. Through their work, they impact all their work touches and that definitely goes well beyond their immediate understanding or knowledge. One of the questions I asked them was "Are you aware of your level of impact"?

Many people don’t see beyond those they don’t immediately touch so forget to pay attention to the power of their work and how far reaching it is. I shared with them the many ‘hats’ I wear. Each one has a purpose beyond their immediate purpose. In case that doesn't make sense, I'll give you an example. I write for a few publications, this being one of them. As I write I ask myself "What reach do I have? How can I indirectly coach those who are reading this piece even if it’s just one thought that might move them forward?" I think the same about my speaking engagements where my goal is to impact the lives of those who are listening to me, even if it’s just one thing they do differently as that one thing can have an extraordinary impact on many other things.

No matter what your leadership role, are you changing how you do your work so your impact goes beyond your immediate world? If you’re a businesspreneur or entrepreneur, a sole proprietor or someone who thinks their circle of influence is only in their immediate geographic or organizational arena, think bigger. How can you get the word out to not only show your expertise but leadership in your field? You can impact people all over the globe by thinking bigger, and targeting what you do to reach farther. You can reach a broader population and many more people than you think if you start writing, speaking, networking and sharing who you are with those you don’t know.

You know who you know… Who don’t you know that you need to know to expand your circle of influence?

Remember, the gap between where you are and where you want to be is filled with what you choose to do in everything you do, all the time, starting now. Leadership is not only being great in your field, it’s being a creative thinker and getting that message out.


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  • Donna Karlin

    David, you ask "The question ins how do you get people to upgrade their view? " I ask you, what question do you have to ask your client so he recognizes the power of positive impact? Ask him how big is his circle of influence, how far reaching and what does he want his influence and power to look like? The larger the positive impact the larger his circle which increases the superconductivity of how he gets things done, grows his people, organization and strengthens sustainability. Get him to see it, feel it, taste it and ask what his world would look like if his circle expanded through positive impact. Work with him and co-create it to such an nth degree he wants it.

    It's all about meaning making.

    executive and political leadership coaching

  • John Agno

    Amen to that, Donna.

    Building our social capital through sharing knowledge is a great way to increase our circle of influence.

    In today's interdependent global economy, we can help our employees, neighbors and countrymen develop inclusion as a core leadership competency. However, we must understand what leadership is (www.WhatisLeadership.info) and how to develop commitment within organizations and in a world of "free agents" and "volunteer" talent.

  • David Utts

    This is so right on! I just got of the phone with a client. This guy is powerful and has a lot of influence in his organization yet he can not get out of his own way because he resists letting go and delegating. He has five directs - all waiting for direction. He sees the value of providing it and of crafting a vision for his group yet he says he can not find the time to do so. When pressed to find the time - he resists.

    Now I don't judge his resistance - his strategy makes sense because it got him to where he is at today. I tell you this guy is brilliant, has a degree of self-awareness and realizes the power of magnifying himself.

    Yet, as Donna so illustrates - people don't realize the power of their influence and what can happen when they magnify it by strengthening those around them. The question ins how do you get people to upgrade their view? On one hand it is a timing issue. Yet, as more of us take it on to expand our influence - we can facilitate the emergence of greatness in others... Donna's whole point!


  • Donna Karlin

    Karma and Luis, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and perspectives. Defining leadership, well that's been going on for next to forever. I believe party of the beauty of successful leaders is they define that role with their people to serve their people while giving them guidance and direction. It's a dance of sorts that has an ebb and flow to it that is responsive to good times and challenging and everything inbetween. When working with the up and coming leaders of our future, the comment trends is they will not accept a dictator-like role of leader. They want respect. They want to know what they're doing has value and isn't just busy work. They want to feel as if they're contributing and making a difference. Karma, goes to what you speak about on "what can I give rather than what can I get?"

    When things are rough and they certainly are right now across the globe it's paramount we value our people, their strengths, level of engagement and commitment. I call it human based leadership.

    executive and political leadership coaching

  • Luis G. Jaramillo

    I agree with you Donna. It's very important to extend the leadership and think bigger. But it is time to define with more objectivity the leadership concept, something that today is quite diffuse. Can we call Leaders to those people or organizations that finally will leave indicated as responsible for the catastrophe that today shakes the world?.

    I do not believe that the crisis is due to the youths and cannot be attributed to the studies and contributions made by some MBA or Ph.D graduates. The crisis is responsibility of some managers, and for managers-leaders the language should be MBS.
    MBS for managing organizations, is more than MBA or PhD. It involves attitudes and values probably forgotten by those supposed responsible for this crisis.
    MBS is a corporate life philosophy that allows for a thorough understanding of management and leardeship in any organization, based on a common language that is simple, objective and precise.
    In addition to management techniques, it is supported by a set of personal values and commitments that are intended to make all employees and their organizations an example of education, culture and rationality.

    Managers-leaders Should "speak" MBS.

    MBS is fully explained in five star manager, available in the web.

    Luis G. Jaramillo

  • Karma Martell

    I really appreciated your thoughts on influence, leadership role and thinking bigger. I found your post so on point. Similar motivations have informed my company philosophy of "good karma marketing" -- creating win-win scenarios that positively affect the communities businesses serve and the causes their clients have passion for. I am now writing about these ideas in the context of social responsibility on my own Fast Company blog.

    When we come from the place of, "what can I give? " or "how can I help?" instead of "what's in it for me? " it changes the dynamic and sets in motion the positive intent of expanding your circle as a member of a greater community- be it a business or social community.

    In this Web 2.0 socially networked world, unless we are doing business under a rock, it is hard to avoid not sending out a ripple - however small, at first. So, better to proactively reach out in the spirit of positive, enlightened leadership, with clear intentions.