Leaders are influencing far more than you realize most of the time. The math is inexorable.
I have a friend, a retired but lonely widower, who works as a Walmart greeter. He tells me that every shift he gets the opportunity to brighten the day of 600-1000 people.
I interviewed a scriptwriter for a TV series. He’s had a few small successes. “Even the series which only lasted half a season were seen by a million people. I hope I made them think, or laugh. That’s not nothing.”
We tend to underestimate 2nd and 3rd level connections. As I write this, I have 2073 connections on LinkedIn, but there are 626,339 people who are the first connection of those 2073 people. I had 14,800 people on a mailing list at one point for a side-interest of mine. Based on survey data, I estimated they were teaching 950,000 to 1.4 million people in a given month.
Think over the years. Consider your supervisors and mentors from years ago…how much are you influencing people based on what you learned (good and bad) from them? Some of those individuals have indirectly influenced tens of thousands of people.
What influence could you have over the next 3 generations in your family? What stories (and the embedded lessons) will they repeat in years to come?
We tend to underestimate the cumulative effects of many small interactions. Water beats rock in the end. “The soft word turns away wrath.” Each one of us is shaped by the many small interactions of the weeks and months and years.
You ARE a leader. You’re influencing MANY people.
What can you do today (today!) to be a better influencer?