Leadership Tip: What Are Your Spheres of Influence?

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We all have them. Everybody is part of several spheres in which they have influence.
Definition: “a field or area in which an individual has power to affect events and developments.”

The most obvious area is at work where, as a leader, you have direct influence over those who report to you. Also, your family - where you, along with others, shape your domestic life. Maybe less obvious spheres are your friends, church, school, organizations you belong to, political affiliations, social clubs… When you think about it, the list can be quite long.
The point is that you are part of many spheres in which you can shape events.

The question is: should you be engaged in all of them and to what extent? 

You are spending time and energy to a greater or lesser degree in all of them. It can be useful to notice what spheres you are in, and what your role is. Some aren’t worth any additional effort and may be draining your time and energy. Consider dropping out of them to free up your time.

For those you choose to stay in, you have several options as to your level of involvement:

  • Be a declared leader as you are at work
  • Be an advisor to the leaders – a consiglieri
  • Not have the title of leader – but lead as a peer
  • Participate actively as a follower
  • Follow neutrally – ride the fence / read the winds and participate           selectively

Each of these requires a different amount of engagement and responsibility. 


Now, I’m not suggesting that you set out to be the formal leader in all of your spheres of influence. You have waaay too much to do and many other priorities. Rather, look at which ones benefit the most from your leadership and whether you have the bandwidth to remain engaged as you are. Occasionally, you will find one that is waiting for someone like you to lead the way.

Action Steps:

  • Jot down the spheres in which you have influence and what they require from you in time and resources.
  • Which do you stay in and which should you drop?
  • Any candidates in need of your leadership?

What are your thoughts? - add your comments below.

Charles St.John


  • Eric says:

    Prioritizing your spheres of influence, as well as all things in your life is an excellent activity! Thank you, Charles!

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