I would regard myself as a person of influence but not in the manufactured sense of the term, i:e a person with title, rank, status or wealth. Those are ephemeral factors in the real sphere of influence.
For me a real person of influence has the confidence, the self-belief, the faith and determination to make things happen, no matter what the obstacles or environment; to change perspectives and ideas, approaches and attitudes and, most of all, to make a difference to people's lives while significantly impacting the status quo - and without fanfare.
For me, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Oprah Winfrey, Bob Geldof, Martin Luther King jr, Noam Chomsky and the Dalai Lama stand head and shoulders above others with their influence. I quote them because they are easily identified, but there are numerous ordinary people like myself whose work has impacted on others, quietly, but definitely, in their lifetime. People without fame, wealth or supporters, but who have made that admirable difference when the odds are stacked against them.
That is what real influence is all about - possessing the self belief, faith and action, with the determination to see it through, and without fear or favour. We can always tell when we have influence because we can easily see the results, and the consequences of our actions. We do not need someone to tell us. Feedback only makes us more aware of the effect we have had, but having influence is instinctive. We can usually gauge whether we have it or not.
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2011
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Respect and love begin with the self. If we have none, how can we give away any?"