Influence allows you to impact results through your interactions with other people. Although you can’t control the outcome completely, you can increase the probability of achieving the impact you desire by how you network, communicate and find common ground with other people.

A powerful metaphor for influence is sport fishing. How is it that you can use a 50-pound line to land a 250 pound fish?

Be patient. Know where you want to end up, but manage your expectations along the way.

Be aware. Influence and manage the other people on the boat – the other people who can affect the situation.

Control yourself. Check your ego and your need to win.

Be purposeful. Be intense, but don’t make rash choices; consider the impact of your actions.

Know your fish. What are the characteristics of others involved? What choices are they making right now?

Be the fish. Don’t focus on you and your needs; get in the heads of the others involved.

Adjust as you learn. Your desired outcomes and your actions may need to change to create the right results for everyone.

Work within the parameters of the line. What are your limits and abilities? What do others want? What can they contribute?

Reel it in. Don’t ease up just because things seem to be going well. Follow through with 100% of the discipline you had when you started.

Use your influence to reel in the big fish and contribute to the greater good. Remember the words of Jackie Robinson: “A life isn’t significant except for its influence on other lives.”