How far does your influence reach?
How far does your influence reach? (iStock photo)

The impact of our influence many times is determined by the circles or spheres of our influence. Our circles of influence can be intentional or unintentional; they can be private or public, and they always have a unique and very specific engagement model.

I'm not sure how scientific my different levels are below, but at least they get the conversation started and give us a context for how to think and plan regarding our different levels of influence. In Greek, the word for sphere of influence is "oikos." So think about your Oikos and how you are being strategic in influencing those around you.

One thing is for sure—don't live in Influence Fantasy Land. If you think you have a much wider circle of influence than you really do, it will create problems for you, your team, and those closest around you. I call this "Influence Imagination." I know many leaders who have this symptom. They think they are a way bigger deal than they really are, and they believe they have way more influence than they really do.

Another thing: Wherever you reside, that is your assignment. Don't feel like you have to move up the ladder of bigger circles in order to be more influential. Be faithful to the circle you've been given to steward.

Family, personal and social levels of influence exist for most of us. The other levels take intentionality, focus, and determination.

1-10: Family Level: Immediate family and/or those you live with.

10-100: Personal Level: Friends and co-workers; those you see on a regular basis- weekly if not daily.

100-500: Social Level: Neighbors, business partners, church friends, sports parents, vendors,

500-1000: Influence Level: Intentional influence really starts here. You now have followers and those who are listening, reading, or paying attention to what you are saying and doing. This level usually involves a local context. And you still know most of these people, if not all of them, on a personal level.

1000-10,000: Public Level: Your influence has gone public at this level. You have a blog; you are a writer; you are influencing people outside of your ability to know them all personally. Most leaders who have aspirations of being a major influencer end up cresting out at this level.

10,000-50,000: Popular Level: your influence has gone "popular" at this level. Maybe you are the mayor of a city, or you have a widely read blog, or you are a public speaker, or you are a CEO of a well-known organization, or you coach a popular sports team, or the pastor of a megachurch. Leaders at this level of influence get invited to gatherings, move the needle in culture, and have established and built in systems that continue to push their levels of influence up.

50,000-250,000: National Level: At this level, your influence is established. You have the ability to make things happen in a way that most only hope to reach.

250,000- up: International Level: Your influence has a broad appeal and helps shape conversations, moves industry, and is global in reach.

What circle of influence are you currently residing in?

Brad Lomenick is president and key visionary of Catalyst—a movement purposed to equip and inspire young Christian leaders through events, resources, consulting and community. Follow him on Twitter @bradlomenick, or read his personal blog at

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