Full text of author Ron Carucci’s talk: “The Secret to Having Influence” at TEDxBeaconStreet conference.
In some form or other, we all imagine being people of lasting influence.
So how many of you have ever picked up the hairbrush in the morning while getting ready, and into it, belted out the song playing on the radio? Come on, said the words- I’d like to thank the Academy. Banked over on your cocktail table as the gold medal got put on your neck to you streaming down your face as your flag unfurled.
Of course we’ve all done these things. If you didn’t raise your hand we know the truth.
But why do we do them? Because we’re a closet megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur? No, well maybe you are but that’s not evidence of it.
No, we do these things because we all come wired with the capacity to imagine our lives as something more.
As organizational consultants to executives my colleagues and I at Navalent, spends our days in the throes of wild organizational transformations.
Years ago, I had the privilege of working with a young leader who also had dreams of being very influential. Everybody saw him as having enormous potential and at the end of our project, he was offered the opportunity to take on a position of greater influence in his organization.
Well nobody was surprised everybody thought, assumed he’d be very successful. About nine months later I saw his name in my caller ID and I was excited. I assumed he was calling to tell me about all the great progress they had made.
Sadly, he was calling to tell me he’d been fired. And that he needed help finding another job.
Well I barely had time to recover from that call, when two hours later, the CEO called also to tell me they let him go. And that he was angry implying that some of the responsibility for his failure was mine, for not having better prepared him.