Circles of Influence: Do You Want Your Team Flexing Their’s?

Three very important circles:Circle of Influence

The smallest is our circle of control, the things we can directly influence, the time we get out of bed in the morning, how we spend our money. All of it within our gift.

The largest is our circle of concern, world poverty, global warming, the economy. All the things we hear about on the news. Not much we can do there.

The middle is our circle of influence. These are things we could influence, maybe one way or another, if we put our mind to it, what our bosses ask us to do next, how our local politicians behave.

This is the interesting circle. We have a choice:

  • We can ignore it, leave it well alone. That is the easy, safe thing to do, we won’t fall flat on our faces and we won’t look like fools.
  • Or we can work it for all it is worth, try to make things happen. We will make mistakes, and it won’t always go to plan, but we will learn and it might just grow.  And if it grows it will drag our circle of control out with it.

But this isn’t about your circles

Imagine if everybody who worked in your team was busy flexing their circle of influence.  Busy trying to make their workplace better, how they want it to be.  How would that feel?

Scary?  Or Wonderful?

Circle of Influence

Read another opinion

Image by flare


  1. Hello James

    How do leaders show up? How do we recognise some peope as leaders and other not as leaders? I’d assert that leaders are the people who have moved into their circle of influence and are playing full out within the broader context of their circle of concern.

    For example, my circle of concern may be poverty and within that broader context (and circle of concern) I move into my circle of influence – family, friends, colleagues, community, professional associations to inspire them to join/contribute to the broader mission: playing the game of making an impact on poverty.

    I was thinking of writing a post on leadership, responsibility and circles of concern/influence. You have inspired me to do it. Thank you.


  2. Hi James,
    Now, I’m not a religious man but you’re post reminds me of the serenity prayer that goes:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

    If this holds some truth then, perhaps, as managers and leaders of teams we should be focusing on helping our teams the courage to identify and change the things that they can.


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