What is your sphere of influence over family, friends and colleagues?
I was thinking about fluther and wondering if it had any impact in the world outside of fluther. I.e., does anyone else pay attention to us? Do we influence anything outside of fluther?
This is kind of what I’m asking, except on a more personal level. I think what I mean is that you and your actions matter to the other person. So, if you were a politician, your decisions would matter to everybody in your electoral district. If you were a CEO, your decisions would matter to everyone in the company. If you were a branch manager, then your decisions would really influence your employees. They might also influence the CEO’s decisions a little, but his or her actions would really impact you much more than yours would affect his or hers.
Similarly, in your family, you play a role. Maybe that role is patriarch or matriarch—the person everyone else has to pay attention to. Maybe you are a parent, and you really only have a big influence on your children. You influence your spouse, but that’s more of an equal thing. Maybe you are a child? What kind of power do you have to influence things in the family?
With friends and community, you might be the friend who initiates everything. Or one who follows all the time. Or one somewhere in the middle. You also may be a leader amongst your neighbors or in your religious institution. Or a follower, or somewhere in between.
So this is getting bigger than I thought and I’m going to ask a lot of you. I would like you to assess the kind of role you play on average, as well as the exceptions in each of these areas. Or, at least as many as you are willing to do.
Like at work, usually I have two assistants who I train and then I pretty much have complete say about what they do for the rest of the year, although they can influence my use of time because they will need help.
Right now, I don’t have them because the University cut my budget. So clearly decisions that happen far above me will affect me. My position arbitrarily got shifted from non-union to union this year—again, a result of negotiations I had no idea existed until they called me in to inform me what had happened. I thought they were going to fire me or something.
My boss, of course, has a lot of say about what I do, but for the most part he leaves me alone, so I do have a lot of autonomy over myself. I do provide services to a number of clients, and I get respect for that.
I would say that I have a relatively small sphere of influence here. There is nothing I can do about upper level decisions. I can have a lot to say about my assistants—if I had any. Any other influence I have comes from my reputation, based on work in the past.
Well, I hope that if you think about this, you’ll write something, even if it’s not very much. Of course the bigger thinkers will write more, and I’ll enjoy that, and I think it will be useful to us all to hear how we think of ourselves in terms of our influence over others in our lives.
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.