I like to say: “If you’re going develop a poor personal or business brand, at least earn it!” All kidding aside, have you ever found yourself in a situation where other people are affecting your brand? As a youngster that may have manifested when you played with Little Johnny who was known for being a bit of a trouble maker. Maybe your teachers started to treat you differently when they saw you and Johnny together.
I have found myself in a situation where a colleague, who was the budget owner on a project, would not make a decision or give a clear answer to the question of moving forward with a new vendor. Since I was the contact and only the influencer, not the decision maker I was in the uncomfortable position of being caught in the middle. But influencers can be highly effective. Here are my Tips on being an effective Influencer:
As an Influencer, work to avoid awkward situations with clear expectations, communication and understanding:
- State up front to the outside vendor or colleague that you are the influencer and not the decision maker. This helps to manage expectations.
- Work to develop a very clear understanding of your colleague’s interest, budget and commitment to the project or initiative.
A Note to Decision Makers-If you are the one with the purse and the power be clear with your colleague and the vendor up front. Are you having this meeting as a courtesy to your colleague or are you truly interested and if so what is your timeline and your budget.
Some people make a career out of not sharing their toys, they are passive- aggressive or territorial. You often find those personality types in organizations that are slow to change and adapt. If you find this happening to you repeatedly, take a look and see if it’s something you’re doing or not doing to cause the situation. If you can honestly say it’s not you, it’s time to consider finding an organization to work with that is more aligned with your personal brand.
Do you have a story to share where you were the influencer and were left hanging in the wind for a answer? Please share ( but do leave out specific company and individuals names we are here to be helpful not hurtful)!