Who influences you?
It’s impossible to connect with someone, without that person influencing you. Even a total stranger who smiles (or frowns) at you as they walk by, will influence what you’re thinking. They’ll also shift your focus, to a lesser or greater degree.
By far, the greatest influence on how you think and how you feel, are those with whom you habitually associate.
The business impact of one bad apple
All it takes is one bad influence to screw up the dynamic of a wonderful, or potentially great, team.
I was mindful of this last week. I spoke with the CEO of a great, Chicago-based manufacturing company. He’s a former client, turned old friend. Anyhow, he wanted some advice. It turns out the son of one of their co-founders joined them as their new CFO in 2018. I knew them as a forward thinking company, respected in their industry for making some super-smart decisions.
That was then.
Today, things have changed.
It turns out the new CFO lacked vision and was exceptionally risk-averse. My former client explained that in just 14-months, the guy had dented morale, led to a number of good people leaving the company and caused them to miss out on what proved to be an outstanding opportunity, which was grabbed with both hands by a major competitor.
Thankfully, at the request of his own father, the CFO finally left the company. And the race is now on to get their rhythm back, so they can start moving forward and making things happen.
The lessons here?
I’m sharing this with you because it’s the second time in under a week, that I’ve had similar discussions with business owners about negative influence. From a business development perspective, you need to be extremely diligent regarding those you habitually associate with. In the above example, the co-founder’s son was so fear focused regarding growth, that others soon started to regard every opportunity as ‘a loss waiting to happen’.
Balance is important, for sure.
But when someone has the attention of the decision makers in your business, that person also has the ability to influence them, what they think (and therefore your results); either positively or negatively. This doesn’t just apply to fellow directors. It applies to anyone, who has access to you and your team.
It’s always worth questioning:
Who are you (and / or your team) listening to?
What have they got you thinking?
Are they influencing you positively or influencing you negatively?