Leading with ‘influence rather than authority’ is a classic of management training jargon.
As with many of these things, it’s fundamentally right, but it’s also much harder to put into practice than a pithy phrase or tweet might suggest.
One issue with expanding or using your influence is that even if it’s for others’ benefit, it can often be perceived that you’re doing it at someone else’s expense.
Some team members/bosses/peers may see influence in the workplace as a zero-sum game, where if you’re accruing it, they must be losing it. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll often find your ideas and attempts to influence shut down, regardless of how helpful they are.
Show how your influence is good for colleagues: the sooner you can show results of how your input led to positive outcomes, the more likely it is that others will trust you with greater influence. Focus on results you can point to.
Help people solve problems: if you help others solve their most meaningful problems, they’ll be more willing to listen to your ideas. This is at the core of ‘managing up’ and establishing influence with your boss. Find out what the biggest challenge they have is, and see how you can help solve it.
Simplify the story: you may have fantastic ideas, but if no-one understands them, it’s going to be hard to get others to support you. Try and find the easiest way to explain how your solution is going to solve a problem and how you’re going to go about it.
Build organizational capacity: often the greatest challenge for a company is finding capacity and resources to implement solutions. If you can focus on areas which improve capacity (preferably in areas which support your ideas!), you may find a more receptive audience.