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How are you influencing?

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Written By: Teri Swope, Founder of SwopeLight

I am intrigued by the social media influencer movement. It is, afterall, just ordinary people who are bold enough to be vocal about what they believe in…and they happen to get paid for it. I know that's a potentially pollyannish view. I know that for many influencers, 'what' they believe in is heavily influenced by what they get paid to believe in. But certainly that doesn't define all of them and even so, there is no arguing that the strategy is effective. Influencers do a great job of selling product. But what about the influence of those that don't get paid? Afterall, we all have influence. Your presence on this planet means you also are a powerful influencer. I recently watched an intriguing documentary called I AM by the movie director Tom Shadyac (think Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, Evan Almight). The main theme of the documentary is that we're all connected and we all influence each other, whether we can see it or not. One of the experiments to prove this has Shadyac sitting in front of a bowl of cultured yogurt. The yogurt has a sensor inserted that is connected to a machine that will measure the reaction in the live bacteria. There are no sensors connecting Tom directly to the yogurt. As Tom is encouraged to think of things that will bring an emotional charge, the live bacteria in the yogurt react with him. It is a fascinating illustration of how even a thought that brings up an emotion has an influence on the environment around us. So what does your influence look like? I speak often of the influence of leaders, but I'm asking this question of you, regardless of your role at work, at school or in the community. How are you using your powerful influence in the world? Don't be fooled into thinking you have to have fame, authority or a following of any kind to use your influence. The tiniest of acts; a smile at a stranger, a loving thought, acknowledging an employee's good work, letting someone in a merging traffic line, a simple Thank You note to the mail carrier/garbage man/barista…all of these acts carry tremendous positive influence. And here is a wonderful product of floating your positive influence out into the world; it ALL comes back to you! Pay attention. You'll see. As you move through the moments of you life, I encourage you to consider how your thoughts, emotions, decisions, actions are influencing the environment around you and make adjustments where necessary. You are divinely empowered to infuse the world with goodness. Use your influence as a force for good in the world. Go get it!


Teri Swope is CEO and Founder of SwopeLight Consulting, a leadership coaching/consulting firm. She has 27+ years of experience developing leaders and organizational cultures.

Her leadership style is inspired by the teachings of Brene Brown, Simon Sinek, Adam Grant, Stephen Covey and many other mindful, heart-led authors and leaders.

“At SwopeLight, we believe there is tremendous untapped potential in organizations; potential for deep human connection, collaboration and innovation. We believe in inspiring leaders to pursue the highest version of themselves. We believe conscious leadership is the key to this inspiration and to accessing an unlimited well of creativity and innovation.”

Teri has a B.B.A in International Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She holds leadership certifications from the Inner MBA Program from MindfulNYU - New York University/Sounds True/Wisdom 2.0 as well as The Leadership Challenge program.


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