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5 Ways to Measure the Impact of Your Personal Influence

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Do you know how much your personal influence is worth? How much does your organization value your contributions? Can you communicate that value to your organization? Can you use that value as a bargaining chip at the negotiating table? Your paycheck serves as one scorecard. But consider other measures for yourself:

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
Most leaders have personal scorecards by which they measure their own contribution. Without a scoreboard, it's difficult to know if you're winning -- and what impact you might have on others. It's not that you're competing against colleagues, but rather competing against an objective standard and against yourself to achieve your "personal best."

A senior vice president at one of our client organizations ties a lack of personal measurement to employees' tendencies to "write a book" at performance appraisal time. If your organization doesn't give you KPIs, then research and write your own. Know how you measure up to top performers in the job. The higher your performance, the stronger your influence.

Readership:
Add online meaningful, entertaining content and see how many people read it and share it.

Commitment:
What's the level of interaction with you in person? By email? Online? How many people take action when you ask? Do they spread the word, cooperate, buy, or make a change when you ask them to do so?

Social media used to be about the number of followers. Not anymore. Followers can be bought -- and often are. In fact, some estimate that as many as one-eighth of all Twitter followers are robots. Twitter itself has acknowledged the problem of people buying and selling "profiles" that are actual robots sending out what looks to be personal tweets and responses.
What matters is commitment.

Third-Party Metrics:
Online sites like Klout (by far the largest), Kred, PeerIndex, and Appinions measure both online and offline influence on a number of objective criteria: job experience, formal education, publications, thought leadership, social media followers, and interaction.

For more about these criteria, you may want to refer to the excellent book Klout Matters by my colleagues Gina Carr and Terry Brock and to the above websites themselves for their ever-expanding criteria for measurement.

Expertise Requests:
Today, everybody claims to be an expert about something. And many experts offer all their information for free on the Internet. Is your expertise such that people are willing to pay for yours: books, speeches, subscriptions, training, consulting, project management? Scarcity is at play here. Limit time and access, and you will soon see the impact of your expertise by the dollars it brings in the marketplace.

Understand the impact of your influence -- and how to communicate it to those who matter --so you can use it where and how it does the most good for the changes you want to see.