Influence and Impact: Discover and Excel at What Your Organization Wants from You the Most

The first part of our book, Influence and Impact, helps you the reader do three things: Understand yourself – your strengths, values and preferences; understand your role, as defined by your manager, your organization, and other stakeholders; and understand the culture of your organization – how people operate, make decisions, solve problems. You have, in the words of Jim Collins, “Confronted the Brutal Truth” of what your job is in reality. Chapter 6 asks the question, “Now that you know the truth about what your organization ‘actually’ wants from you, Do You Still Want this Job?” It goes on to say:

influence-conceptYou are at a pivot point in this process. Now, it is time to put your insights into action. There are three basic question you need to answer. This may take a little time, but it is simple in principle:

  1. Do you still want the current job?
  2. If yes, are you willing to commit to changing what you need in order to be successful and appreciated?
  3. If no, do you want to stay with the organization you work for?

Before you do that, however, it may be useful to confirm some of our basic assumptions:
You can’t go back in time. Everything you’ve done so far, good, or poor, is in the past. Whatever your answer, nothing you have said or done implies you made a mistake or failed in any way. Spending time on recrimination is natural but does not help you move forward. And we are here to help you get to a place where you feel successful and appreciated. While it’s important to learn the lessons of the past and their implications for the future, your job now is to choose how you’re going to go forward from this moment in time.

Sunk costs are irrelevant. The time you have spent in the current job, and the successes you have achieved are valuable, but if you are feeling stalled or under-appreciated, you should ignore the investment you have already made. Your objective is to make the right decision now based on the information currently available. Looking at how much work, or how much time you have devoted to your current job will not help you reach your longer-term objectives. If your past efforts and achievements give you something that you can leverage, great. But refocusing on the clarified job, and your own objectives now, will give you a greater advantage.

You are in charge of you. In most situations, you have a choice of what to do now. You can choose what to focus on, and you can choose how to think, relate, and interact with the people in your organization. Most people are not truly “stuck,” with no options but to suffer through. Some certainly are, but in many cases, you can actively work to improve your situation, either by changing what you do in your job, how you approach your job, or by finding a job that fits with your strengths and your objectives.

The Pivot Point

The pivot point is your answer to the question, “Do you still want this job?” To answer the first question of whether this is the right job for you or not, you should consider three sub-questions that comprise the main question.

  • Can you do this job as you have outlined it, in this organization? Does it align with your strengths?
  • Can you influence others and operate effectively in this culture? Are you comfortable with the behaviors, artifacts, assumptions, and underlying beliefs of the organization?
  • Does the job provide value or meaning to you? Do you care about the direct, indirect, and knock-on impact you can have?

If you answer “yes” to all three, and yes to the main question of whether you want the job, then you are ready to excel at the job your organization needs from you. This includes making a commitment to align with your manager and with your organization, and a commitment to yourself to change and grow. This is not a commitment to your organization, to be clear. This is a commitment to yourself to work in a way that has and meaningful impact on the organization and its mission.
If you decide that you do not want or cannot do the job as you have outlined it here, you may want to begin the process of letting go of those sunk costs, and moving on to something better…This is the “commit or change” moment.

Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Wiley, from Influence and Impact: Discover and Excel at What Your Organization Needs From You The Most by Bill Berman and George Bradt. Copyright (c) 2021 by Bill Berman and George Bradt. All rights reserved. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.



Bill Berman

Bill Berman

Bill Berman is the author of Influence and Impact: Discover and Excel at What Your Organization Needs From You The Most. Berman is an executive coach with experience as a psychologist, senior line manager, and organizational consultant. Since founding Berman Leadership Development in 2005, he has been a trusted advisor to general managers and C-suite executives across multiple industries. Bill began his career as a licensed psychologist and academic, started a software company, and has written and spoken extensively on a range of topics in psychology, coaching and behavior change. For more information, please visit https://bermanleadership.com/ and follow the author on Twitter.

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