Are You An Amplifier?

28 Feb 2014

Are You An Amplifier?

Written by denisebrosseau Published in
Thought Leader Blog Post

If you’re like me every day your mailbox overflows with invitations to conferences, requests to give to political campaigns and opportunities to get involved in local community activities. You receive information from entrepreneurs starting new businesses, executives launching new projects and former colleagues looking for new jobs. Your friends ask you to donate to their latest charity run or support their kid’s softball team. And you are regularly inundated with news and articles on any number of interesting topics.

Rather than hit the delete key, what if you were to look at each of these emails as an opportunity to be an amplifier – someone who curates, highlights and even shines the spotlight on the best ideas for the benefit of those around them?
Why be an amplifier? Because amplifiers build their credibility and visibility with people who matter. Rather than stay on the sidelines, they move the conversation forward. Rather than opposing progress, they smooth the way for others and build a reputation as someone who makes things happen.
Here are a few ways to tell if you’re an amplifier…
When you receive an email newsletter you…
 a)    Immediately unsubscribe and delete without reading
 b)   Scan quickly for something that might interest you 
 c)    See yourself as a curator of information - forward the newsletter to 3 people with a note highlighting why and how they can benefit from the information
When you hear that someone whose ideas you support is running for office, you…
  a)    Wonder at their sanity
  b)   Send them a quick note of congratulations
  c)    See yourself as a leadership catalyst - immediately write a check in support of their campaign and/or offer to host a fundraiser. After all, we need more people willing to step into leadership.
When you hear someone is launching an Indiegogo campaign in support of their exciting new business, you…
  a)    Stop by the page to check out the gifts
  b)   Give a small contribution
  c)    See yourself as a champion of entrepreneurship – post a link to your Facebook page, send an email to 50 friends and make a significant contribution
When a friend sends you their daughter’s resume and wants an introduction to a charity where you serve on the board, you…
  a)    Let them think you want to help, but never get around to making the intro
  b)   Forward the girl’s resume but never close the loop to see what happens
  c)    See yourself as a patron of the next generation – call your charity contact and recommend they look over the resume and see if they have any openings
When your former colleague writes a new business book, you…
  a)    Buy a copy but never get around to reading it

  b)   Write a one-line review on Amazon
  c)    See yourself as an endorser of ideas – actually read the book, write a detailed review on Amazon and send an email to 100 people in your network suggesting they buy the book. Then see if your company wants to host the author for an event.

When a more junior employee approaches you seeking advice, you…
  a)    Never make time to meet.
  b)   Schedule a few meetings and give them some good advice.
  c)    See yourself as a sponsor of talent - Listen carefully to what they need and introduce them to 3 key people who can help them achieve their next steps.
When you are in a meeting and a colleague or your employee begins to tentatively broach a new, bold idea, you…
  a)    Ignore them
  b)   Highlight their idea but soon forget about it
  c)    See yourself as an advocate of change - jump on board and ask what you can do to help, then use your expertise and network to help them achieve their goals
If you want to be an amplifier, the time is now to abandon every behavior in category a) and rethink every behavior in category b). The best leaders are those who choose category c - finding every opportunity to create a win-win environment for everyone around them. They regularly seek ways to use their network and connections for the good of others. And they advance their careers by showcasing the constructive ideas of other just as they hope others will advance theirs.
What can you do to be an amplifier this week?

Denise Brosseu is the founder and CEO of Thought Leadership Lab whose clients include leaders from Apple, Genentech and Morgan Stanley as well as startup CEOs. She is the author of Ready to be a Thought Leader? published this month by Jossey-Bass. Denise has an MBA from Stanford and in 2012 she was honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change”. She is also the cofounder of Springboard, the women's startup launch pad that has led to over $6B in funding for women entrepreneurs.  



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