Are You Taking the Right Steps to Build Influence?

Highway Signpost Influence

Highway Signpost Influence

Influence: You know you want more of it, but do you have a plan for building it? Last week, we talked about the different facets of influence, a key leadership skill. I asked you to pay attention to how you're doing in four areas: credibility, connection to the big picture, relationships and processes. Today, I want you to take what you noticed about yourself and use it to complete this assessment tool. Your results will point you toward the actions you should take to build your influence.

Take a look at the following statements related to the different aspects of influence. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being "very true"), think about true each statement is for you right now.


  • I recognize my strengths and the value I bring.

  • I consistently share examples of my strengths and how I add value with others in a way that's relevant for them.

Connection to the Big Picture

  • I consistently help others see the connection between the value I add and what's best for the organization.

  • I speak in terms of the organization's goals and priorities, not just those of myself or my department.


  • I know who holds both the formal power (power connected to a role) and informal power (power not connected to a role).

  • I cultivate relationships with both formal and informal leaders.


  • I engage others and create buy-in in a way that is authentic to who I am as a leader.

  • I recognize when to leverage others to deliver a message, even if I could deliver it.

So what did you discover in this self-assessment? Look at the statements where you gave yourself the lowest numbers. Developing your skills in those areas should be the heart of your plan to build influence. If you want to bring up your numbers across the board, start by focusing on your credibility. That's the root of influence.

To help you put your plans into action, check out our Leadership EDGE SeriesSM booklet on Building Influence or get the complete set for bigger savings.

What do you think makes someone influential? Let's continue the conversation in comments or on social media.