Project Management

Provisional Influence

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Provisional Influence

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Influence: ”the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command”

When we think about influence, it is something that is almost intangible. Intangible in that it [Influence] is a by-product of some other action or effort. More likely, a collection or string of actions that may go unnoticed individually, but leave a trace of sub-conscious impact.

With the exponential expansion of social media, the perception of influence has seemingly broadened to encompass a variety of actions in an effort to explicitly garner that influence. And now with a measure or scale of an individual’s influence attached to their profile, brand, or [self] worth, it affords new opportunities to exercise available mediums to enrich the rating.

It is interesting to now consider how we look at what influence is and means in reference to its Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition above. Should it change? Or are we incorrectly using the term as a descriptor of something else?

What is influence to me? Influence is an individual sharing their story of growth with me as a reference and motivator. Influence is seeing those around me learning and growing in their respective teams or role. Influence is my dog continuing to run right by my side while running through the woods not realizing the leash had become detached :) (That may be debatable, but I had to sneak that one in there. Just happened today)

Where does quality into the measure? How do we put a measure of quality on an individual's thoughts or reactions? Do we project our intentions against another person's actions?

Whatever influence means to you is what influence is. It can be attributed to one’s mental attitude, their fortitude, their mindset, and/or their experiences.

Posted on: January 03, 2020 04:20 PM | Permalink

Comments (9)

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Dear Andrew
Interesting reflection on the topic: Provisional Influence
Thanks for sharing

Can influence be analyzed from multiple perspectives?

I've heard the term "influence" apply to people:
- who have a lot of money
- Which are exposed to and in the media

I have also heard the term "influence" apply to people who have the skills and character

Influence can be analyzed from any perspective.

Based on your question, does then the perception of another's influence equate to actual influence?

Follow-up, does availability and over-saturation equate to actual influence?

Dear Andrew

There is a dictate in Portuguese that answers your question: "Better to fall for grace than to be funny"

One thing is what we think.
Another thing, completely different is how others see us.
In the domain of influence what matters is the opinion others have of us

Regarding the presence
It depends ... (I can speak for myself.)
There are people who tire us (although we are very little time with them) ...
There are people we want to be with longer and the longer we are with them, the longer we want to be

Dear Andrew,

Good documented.


Andrew, what a nice point of view about influence.

Nowadays we face a huge amount of digital influencers in the world and is creepy the way how they can manipulate people on social media.

In my opinion we started to have two types of influencers, first one, is from people whom we know, trust and have as an example to be followed, like your dog following you and another one is influence that comes from digital world, people whom we don't know, but in some way we see as a role model, we have lots of examples around us. My thougts are: In this last one, how much of this digital influencers is really true or product of his beliefs? How much it is only a product of "media content" or "show off", just to prmote them or sell something?

Based on your mention about Merriam-Webster, I guess we should start thinking about influence in different ways! Assuming that the "digital unknown influencer" can reach mass easier than people around us.


Thank you, Rajon!

Great feedback, Ivan. It is greatly appreciated. I like your take on it.

Andrew, I joined a session on PMIGC19 (Influencing without authority) where they explained how as a project managers we can influence not only stakeholders, also in the all knowledge areas. I highly recommend you to review the recording if is available, was a good one.


Good points, made me think that more often than we know we "influence is without authority".

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