Spheres of Influence Explained

Spheres of Influence Explained

A person’s ability to influence the beliefs and behaviors of others is fundamental to the success of their leadership. There are countless factors that contribute to the specific areas in which we wield any influence. We will each naturally have certain areas in which our influence will be stronger than others. The Spheres of Influence demonstrate this at three core levels – Control (at the centre), Influence, and Concern. The further from the centre we get, the less precisely we are able to affect other people and systems.


Sphere of Control

The Sphere of Control is the smallest of the three and contains everything that we can have a direct impact upon. Often as leaders, we are put in a position that seemingly affords us a great amount of control over the people and environment around us. This is simply untrue. Each of us can only control and be responsible for one thing –  ourselves. The Sphere of Control contains only what we think, what we say, and what we do. In training for leadership excellence, we develop the ability to recognise that which falls within our control with more certainty and greater clarity. When we learn to take control over only that which we can, we become more effective leaders.


Spheres-of-Influence Spheres of Influence ExplainedSphere of Influence

Next is the Sphere of Influence. It contains all that we are able to affect but not directly control, including the actions of some people and systems you operate with. Effective leaders are careful to build influence with trusted colleagues and direct reports in order to successfully implement their vision. Developing leadership excellence allows leaders to understand the importance of the relationships they have with their team for their collective success. It is about using your position of authority to inspire passion and drive in others to achieve shared objectives and goals.


Sphere of Concern

Finally, the Sphere of Concern is the largest and contains everything that you might be concerned about yet cannot control or influence. This includes individuals in other departments or teams, systems we cannot affect, or even the weather. It does little good for us to spend time and energy focusing on these things, particularly when we do not possess the ability to alter them. Effective leaders will, of course, need to be mindful of how external factors impact their performance, but their focus will be on the work they are doing and the actions they are taking. 


An important component of leadership excellence is our ability to identify which elements in our lives belong to each of the Spheres of Influence. The leadership excellence program discusses this framework to help participants balance their focus on each sphere and develop more effective leadership. Current and aspiring leaders who undergo this type of executive leadership training will have a stronger impact on the performance of their team. Great leaders understand the importance of focusing their efforts and resources on the things they can directly Control and Influence will lead to greater long term success.


About the Author: The Leadership Sphere
The Leadership Sphere helps small and medium businesses and larger organisations in Australia, in creating value through leadership. The Leadership Sphere provides a humanistic approach to the way it delivers leadership, performance and coaching services. We work with leaders and senior teams who need to gain increased clarity, build capability and ensure contribution at every level in the organisation, and enable a safe, inclusive and  high trust organisation.


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