The old proverb Know Thyself shines brightly as a core, thematic tenet in Brian Smith and Mary Griffin’s new book, Positive Influence: Be the ‘I’ in Team. “You may be asking yourself how you can take more control of the influence you have. I have personally recognized that my thoughts and actions influence what happens in my life and those around me. From the moment I wake up to when I come home for dinner, every interaction and thought influences other individuals and myself…
The conscious shift from ‘I’ to ‘we’ improved my relationships across all aspects of my life, and now I find myself specifically pausing at the use of the word ‘I,' wondering if it’s possible that there is a better way to make individual statements without clouding context or the details. My goal for this book, and this series, is to convey my belief that our individual influence is something we must be mindful of, because influence is our single greatest responsibility in life. Our individual influence begins before we are born, when our parents discover our existence. Despite knowing nothing about us, they do know we will be an individual they are responsible for,” Smith and Griffin write in aforementioned vein. “Influence goes both ways; just as we influence our mothers and fathers when they first discover our existence, our mothers and fathers influence us. In Find the ‘I’ in Team, I discussed the influence of being born to a young mother and father who, while loving me, were still unaware of who or what they really wanted to be or do with their lives.
Their ability to live in a reactive environment established much of who I am today. In this book, I will continue sharing lessons on how to be a positive influence through the lens of personal storytelling. I believe storytelling and learning from others’ mistakes is one of the most effective ways we learn. Be the ‘I’ in Team was written to help you build on your foundation so that you can be the best leader for yourself and others. You may even notice that we revisit some topics discussed in the first book. We do this because there are some topics and lessons that are so large that they require further explanation, depending on which perspective you take. With our first book, we were exploring the perspective of finding your foundation; in this book, we are looking from the perspective of being a positive influence.
Each topic discussed here is designed to help you accentuate your strengths and overcome challenges that may be holding you back from being a positive, influential leader. We also want to push you to learn and explore new ideas that we did not cover in Find the ‘I’ in Team, topics that are directly attributed towards leadership that can be applied to any environment.”
As many postmodernist theories wisely reveal, the personal and professional conduct share many similarities - bearing nearly identical traits and facets. Because of this in itself, life doesn’t have to be that difficult anymore. Frankly, it’s never been a better time to grab life by the horns. It never was, and certainly isn’t now, that hard to do so…
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