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#14 Five Domains of Impact: Part 2 (Culture, Organizations, & Communities)

Season #1 Episode #14


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There are five specific domains of impact in which all leaders must work through to grow their influence for positive change.  While the domains of impact are not created equal in their projected influence, they are definitely linked so that one cascades into the next. As the leader’s influence moves between each domain, it scales (or is extended) in audience size. This impact can be positive or negative, but each domain will determine the greater level of impact. 

The five domains of impact are: 

  • Self
  • Relationships
  • Culture
  • Organization
  • Community 

The Self: 

Our first domain of impact is often the hardest one because it requires the most work. In our fountain of influence for positive impact, the self is the perpetual pump that keeps our fountain of influence and leadership flowing. If you’ve ever seen a fountain, you know that the pump is what makes it work. 


We need deep meaningful relationships with others to mentally survive just like we need our bodies to physically survive. And, just like our bodies, our relationships can become healthier when we are more conscious of what we put into them. So The second domain of impact is RELATIONSHIP or how we connect with one another. Without positive relationships there is no way you can make a positive impact on a culture, organization, or a community. Because guess what cultures, organizations, and communities are made of…People. 


Culture is the collective behaviors, common language, stories, traditions, and celebrations within your group of people. Or as Seth Godin says “people like us do things like this.” And as Peter Drucker says “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” So in essence there is no point to strategy if you don’t have the right culture to implement it with fidelity. To make a positive impact on an organization you must have built a great culture among the people at work first. Once the positive culture is established, the work group as a whole will display readiness for excellence in implementing systems and processes for results, collaboration, and innovation.


Work on the business, not in the business. Successful organizations run because they have efficient and effective systems. However, organizations must remember that they don’t simply manage people, you lead people and you must manage the system by which your organization achieves its objectives. The system produces the results; your people manage the system.


A community is…at its most simple of definitions a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. A community is larger than just one organization, it is made up of several…and all where organizations work together to support common local causes. Making a positive impact within the community requires the most generosity of your time, talents, and budget. It requires that the self, relationships, culture, and organization think and serve beyond itself.


 The Self:

  1. Develop a strong foundation in your IDENTITY and PURPOSE. Know who you are, what you believe, and what your life’s purpose is. 
  2. Be intentional in growing your emotional intelligence, or the ability to identify and manage your emotions. Growing in your emotional intelligence means you have self-awareness and self regulation. Having a high emotional intelligence is like having your own personal pause button so you can respond instead of react.
  3. Do not be self focused, but be humble. Know that “IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!” 

In summary, As if leadership wasn’t hard enough, the reality in the HOW of making a positive impact…step one must always start with the self. And the ultimate goal in the SELF DOMAIN is to know the self, to grow the self, but not to focus on the self.  


  1. Always Lean in and turn towards - When people make bids for connection they are seeking attention, affirmation, affection, or any other positive connection. Acknowledge their bid for connection and turn towards (do not turn away or turn against).
  2. Learn how to resolve conflict - To make a positive impact on relationships you have got to know how to navigate the turbulent waters of conflict between yourself and others and conflict between people to people. Don’t tell yourself stories to fill in the gaps of missing information. Go to episode 10 to learn more about conflict resolution skills using the AC/DC method


  1. Define the line - establish a clear identity of who the group is, what value, and how they behave or interact with each other
  2. Coach the line - always model what you expect of others and provide positive reinforcement for those displaying the cultural behaviors expected
  3. Defend the line - hold people accountable to the expectations of the cultural norm


  1. First, Work on the business, not just in the business
  2. Second Create systems and processes that outlast the people currently in that role (and that includes your role as well)


  1. Smaller piece to a bigger puzzle - Realize that your organization is a much smaller piece to the bigger puzzle of society. 
  2. Find other organizations to partner with to support common causes within the community
  3. Model service and invite your employees to serve in the local community


  • Godin, Seth. (2018). This is Marketing. New York: Penguin. 
  • Brown, Brene. (2018). Dare to Lead. New York: Random House. 
  • Gerber, Michael. (1995). The E Myth Revisited. New York: HarperCollins
  • Covey, S. R. (1989). The seven habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.