I am consistently challenged throughout the day by the type of impact am I having on those around me. Is a positive impact or having a negative effect? I have to admit that my behavior is different with people that I have the time of day for and it shifts to the other end of the spectrum for those I do want to be around.
There is truth in what many leadership and entrepreneur writers say about surrounding yourself with those people that can pull you or your business up to their level. It is also good advice to stay away from negative influences in your life. The people that drag you down to their comfort zones and may not even be comfortable with you or your company being successful.
What is the impact that you are having on those around you? Are you giving a boost so that your friends, colleagues and even those negative people can get up to the same level as you. Or, are you attempting to drag them down to your level? What is the impact on you if you help them up or push them down?
What is the impact of your business on the marketplace, on your community or on your staff? Many people are shocked to hear that I help my competitors get to the same level as I am at today. Personally, I would much rather have a competitor as an ally than as an enemy. What impact would this have on your relationship with your competitors? Teaming up with the right competitor will have a tremendous positive impact on your business since you now have a friend who may just watch your back for you if one of your clients happens to ring him one day. You get a second chance to recoup the rewards of a positive relationship.
What impact is your business having on your partners? Is your business the type of business that openly shares ideas, concepts and strategy with others in your field or in a different geographic region? Do you share your success stories with others? Do you have a positive impact in your partner community? Do you become the “go to" person when others are stuck for answers?
The most important impact your business can have is on your clients. These are the people that cannot be ignored. Oddly enough, this is where a lot of businesses have the hardest time achieving a positive impact. It is not because the principals of the company do not care about the services that they are providing or the product they are selling. I was in a major big box store observing how the customers were feeling as they left the store, none of them appeared to be happy after having a great service experience. I am sure the directors and managers care for each customer, however when staff are involved the impact cycle needs to be a fine tuned machine. All employees need to create a positive impact with your client base, but first they need to feel a positive impact from the company that employs them.
When the impact cycle breaks down, the client experience suffers and a negative impact occurs. What damage does do to your business? Your client now has the option to go searching for a positive impact and when they find it, they are happy once again. It is everyone’s responsibility in an organization to immediately create a positive impact when they become aware that a negative impact may have occurred.
One thing about impacts that I have learned over the years, is that you have to work extremely hard to create a positive impact with anyone and it takes two seconds to create a negative impact. Positive impacts require work. It may appear that some just naturally have the skill to pull this off. I have a suspicion that these businesses or individuals have really worked very hard to polish their skills to create a positive impact with everyone they touch. Most importantly they consciously stay away from the forces that try to pull them down to a level below what they want to achieve.
Stuart Crawford is a business consultant with Calgary’s You Factor Inc. Stuart specializes in working with Information Technology companies to make them competitive in the Canadian marketplace. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .