invisible man in suit on gray background. Invisible Influence.

Using Invisible Influence to Increase Our Impact

We all like to see the direct results of our work. A farmer likes to see the crops that grow from the seeds he sowed months ago. A salesman likes to see the check from the client she has been cultivating for years. A manufacturing worker likes to see the complete product roll of the line and be flawless. Leaders like to see the people they lead shine. 

It’s somewhat disappointing then when we don’t get to see the results. Maybe you sowed the seeds but someone else harvested the crop. What you cultivated for years another person closed. The end product is so far down the line you never see it from your vantage point. People you positively impact shine somewhere else. Yet those can be our greatest moments. The invisible influence we have is often where we influence most.

Continue reading “Why Invisible Influence is a Leader’s Best Friend”

First a Confession!

I have been a Miami Dolphins fan for a very long time. Being a long-time Dolphins fan and absolutely hating the New England Patriots go hand in hand. So on Sunday, since the ‘Phins weren’t in the game, nothing would have delighted me more than to see the New England Patriots lose the SuperBowl.

Obviously that didn’t happen.

An Amazing Game!

See, I can’t even bring myself to show a picture of the Patriots.

What did happen is being touted as the greatest comeback in the history of the SuperBowl. Because it was. It was sensational!

The Atlanta Falcons seemed to get and keep control early. A young and enthusiastic team hammered away at the experienced New England team, dominating offensively and defensively a full two quarters and part of a third.

Then New England stepped up.

A few breaks and good things start to happen for the Patriots. You could feel the momentum shift. In the end, New England was the dominant team and winner of the championship. And it wasn’t because the Atlanta Falcons folded, it was because of the strength of leadership on the Patriots.

Crisis Leadership

Falcon fans were rejoicing at half-time. With a strong lead over the Patriots, a championship victory seemed almost assured for Atlanta. The defense harassed Tom Brady for most of the first half. He was either flat on his back or hurrying a pass and missing or both. Practically nothing New England did worked. Their claim to an unheralded legacy was slipping quickly out of control. No other team had won five SuperBowls ever before.

Winning this game would define

  • the Patriots as the best team of all time
  • Tom Brady as the greatest quarterback ever
  • Bill Bellichick as the greatest coach ever.

And that legacy was fading.

What Would You Do?

The thought of that would put most teams into a panic or at least a deep depression. This was a major crisis for the team and yet… one was acting like it was a crisis. One of the disciplines that New England demonstrated is that a situation is only a crisis if you make it a crisis. It takes leadership to instill that attitude and drive home that discipline.

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]A crisis is only a crisis if you make it one.[/tweetthis]

Instead of panicking, according to later interviews players were approaching the coaches with ideas of what to different and what to try to turn things around. Everyone on the team was thinking and working together to solve the problem. A team doesn’t get there in a vacuum; it takes leadership to get it there.


I listened to a news report about the game the next day where Matt Patricia, one of the coaches for the Patriots, commented about how the players just kept giving feedback to the coaches. No one was moping about how dismal they looked, they were thinking and working; grinding it out.

Leadership Develops Culture

That pervasive attitude takes the right kind of culture – a culture built by the right leadership.

That’s what made the team great. That’s why they can say Bellichick is the greatest coach ever and Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever. They didn’t just gather a group of players and run drills. They invested in leadership and developing a culture so that everyone always worked towards the same goals.

I still don’t like the Patriots though.

What stood out to you about the big win? Was it just a matter of good football or something more? How are you building the right culture? Share your thoughts here or email me at

Influencing Culture

What if…

What you do and what you say in every situation made a difference?

Of course, you know what’s coming next.

It does!

Two things inspired me to write this today.

First, I was reading my morning devotional. It was Esther 4.

Book of Esther pictureIf you are not a person of faith before you stray away: there is a valuable lesson in here for everyone.

In the story, the Jews are facing annihilation at the hands of Haman through his influence on King Xerxes. Mordecai, a Jew, had managed to get his cousin Esther, also a Jew, placed as Queen. Mordecai sends her a message to intervene with the King on behalf of the Jews but doing so could endanger Esther’s life and she hesitates, doubting her influence.

Mordecai’s response moved her: “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?

How would that hit you?

That one moment where she doubts she has influence and doubts she can make a difference is where she ends up having a huge impact and makes the biggest difference of all!

Secondly, I read a blog post from my mentor John C. Maxwell, also talking about influence

He also says those moments when we don’t think about who or how we influence is where we can have the greatest influence. The chance encounters, the seemingly insignificant.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#culturecounts” display_mode=”box”]We think about major moments so much that we forget that minor moments count as well.[/tweetthis]

Think about those moments and think about your day so far

Image of Influence Network

Are there moments you miss? What about your family this morning as everyone woke up? The person behind the counter at the coffee shop? The security guard at the front door to the office? The co-worker you walked by this morning?

In every circumstance, our choices help create examples for others to mirror. For example, most people will smile back at you if you smile at them. By making those same choices consistently, we encourage it in others, and that helps build culture.

Therefore, culture is created, it doesn’t just evolve. We help shape culture by our thoughts, our words, and our actions.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#CultureCounts #Ahhamoment”]Our daily choices influence culture in every circumstance.[/tweetthis]

What if you were in a particular time and place for such a time as this?

What if this person or group was where your influence counted the most?

What will your next choice be?

What thoughts and suggestions do you have to help others shape culture?