The title for this weeks post was an unthunk thought. That’s what I call one of those ideas, insights or revelations that seem to just arrive in your mind, without any clear idea where they came from or any conscious knowledge of the thought processes that produced them. My first book was called “Unthunk Thoughts”, and is a collection of those amazing one-liners and aphorisms that contain so much more than the words.
Well ‘The Secret Ingredient of Influence’ last week was definitely one of those. It tumbled out of my mind just as I completed last weeks post. It has occupied much of my thinking over the last week and I am a bit blown away by it.
Caring – The Secret ingredient of Influence! The Holy Spirit gets the credit for this one. I could never have come up with that on my own.
I will be really interested in peoples’ views on this. “Leadership is Influence”, to quote John Maxwell. People influence others and situations in many ways – through charisma, eloquence, power, motivation and many other ways.
But the more I go through life the more I realise that the quality that influences me most is a caring heart. It is not weak, – it comes from a strength of character! It speaks of an intuitive respect for people and a desire to validate and acknowledge the intrinsic worth of each person we meet. I only work with people who care. It IS the secret ingredient. The funny thing is that people who do care often don’t realise the value it brings to any transaction. It says “you matter”, it says “I will look after you”, it says “I will go the extra mile to make sure you are satisfied”. It is inherently unselfish and other-directed.
As a principle it echoes Zig Ziglar:
Labour + Materials + Overheads + Margin = Price!
I offer another model:
Labour + Materials + Overheads + CARE FACTOR + Margin = Price!
There is a premium that is due for that Care Factor. And the people who care the most often dismiss it or are not really conscious to it. I am passionate about helping people achieve that premium. The other side of that is being willing to pay that premium. I have a saying:
“Discount is not the currency of blessing – great service is!”
Let us be a people who willingly pay that premium so we can enjoy that great service. Remember that value is remembered long after the price is forgotten. In a world where truth is relative and the moral backstop has been removed, there is a deep and growing hunger for authenticity, truth and honesty.
So my moment of clarity this week is to dust off your ‘Care Factor’ and become an influence for good in your world. If it has been bruised and battered in the ‘roil and moil’ of life, take time out to heal and renew. Forgive those who have used you and taken advantage of you and decide to come back again to ‘care first’ and ‘care always’ and be a shining light in a world that needs it.
Have a great week, Brian.
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