We each have multiple groups of friends and colleagues with whom we have a certain amount of influence. Within one of my colleague groups, I am referred to as Sting. Much like the famous singer of the Police, I am a few years older than the other group members and my input carries a little more weight. The role of “Sting” is one that I embrace and take seriously because I want to help my colleagues along their journey.
Influence is a currency that varies in value based upon the group. Much like monetary currency, the dollar may be valued more than the Mexican Peso but less than the Kuwaiti Dinar. The key is recognizing your influence and when you should be giving versus collecting.
I embrace my role as Sting but also recognize that I’m not Mozart. Sting’s influence is in a very specific genre over a specific time period. I’m sure that he has influenced millions of people with his music. However Mozart influenced music itself and that influence has lasted for centuries. If it were possible for Sting to be in a room with Mozart, I am sure that Sting would know to listen first rather than tell Wolfie about his Grammy for “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”. Perhaps Sting has something to offer Mozart but assuming that is true is foolish.
There are so many people in this world to learn from. If you are too busy shouting the autobiography of your greatness to everyone, you may not recognize the possible treasures in front of you. Be comfortable with who you are. Whether you’re Sting, Adele, Greg Graffin or Steve Zarodnansky, you have something to offer. Just don’t assume you’re Mozart because even he has more to learn.