How to have influence?

He was sitting next to me and I kind of could guess he was the speaker coming in class for the conference, but all I asked was : 

  • are you allergic to fish? I’d rather not have you killed today.
  • Well, that’s very considerate, thank you, and no, I’m not allergic to fish. 

I nod, and smiled, and proceeded to eat my lunch. 

He stood up and in a sight, started to talk about my favourite subject, the magic word to my heart: leadership. 

“You will fail, again and again, and then fail again, and then hopefully succeed but fail again. 

That’s how you succeed, learn from your success as much as your failure and you’ll go further.” 

I felt the rush, just like when I am about to do something risky, like a confirmation from destiny itself that I’m going places. 

Sometimes all you need is a little validation from a stranger, the one that doesn’t stop the rain but gives you an umbrella and a raincoat, keeping you warm.  

He was in the military service, he was interesting and full of je-ne-sais-quoi that traduced into being a harmony between softness and toughness, at the end of class, he asked me what I wanted to be, I answered I wanted to be a better leader, to find my own energy and influence, he then said something that will stick with me for the rest of my life “ If you want to be a great leader, you have to be prepared and take every opportunity you get, fail at it for as long as it takes before you’re excellent at it.”

A big part of leadership is “influence”, some have it naturally, they carry themselves with this energy that leaves the world in awe, but how do you get there? How do you start developing this vibrancy that attracts the universe and leaves an indelible mark on a heart? 

be honest, know yourself

Often, you think you have nothing going on for yourself while all you have to do is get to know yourself, stop seeing what you don’t have and start embracing what makes you different.  

Allow individuality and creativity

  • Love the things you love, be passionate, be intense, be soft, ask yourself if you are what is expected of you or if you are self-driven. Know your comfort zone and get out of it to trace your limits.
  • Preparation comes from experiences and experiences come from what you see, read, listen and do. Feed your brain with knowledge and stock it, it will come in handy at some point. 
  • You learn and get experience, but try to through all of it get some perspective, forge your opinions, and create some original thoughts, nourish first, watch blossom next.   

find your message, your posture

  • Once you know who you are, it becomes easier to find what you want, once you know what you want from yourself and life in general, you can start looking for the message you want to send to the world. It should include 5 postures – find values, directions on which you orient your life around. It’s a guideline to how to act, how to react, how to speak and dress, etc. 
  • See yourself as an organisation, every company has a “culture” which are the values they vehicle and project in the work environment, the position they take and respect. – Well, you are your own organisation, insert your name here ________ and add inc..- 
  • Know which position and role you want to take in this world, what your place is going to be? Will you be the hardest working, smartest, most elegant, kindest, wittiest person in the room? How will you answer to the world? What’s the message you want to share? 
  • All of these also are your personal values, once they are clear to you, don’t bother looking or doing anything that is outside of these values. Once they are crystal clear for you, you build on them every opportunity you get.    

seek opportunities to challenge your influence

  • Once you know your message and your values, you have to hammer them into your daily habits, in your mind and therefore into other people’s mind. 
  • Every instant is an opportunity to stick to your postures but it’s in the moments when you are out of your comfort zone that you truly challenge the foundation of it all. 

Few opportunities you can take :

  • Do something that scares you (public speaking, asking someone out, recreative cliff jumping, starting a youtube channel).
  • Control how you react to unpleasant situations.
  • Have a challenging discussion with someone who doesn’t share your personal values. 
  • Start being that person with people you’ve never met before and observe how it goes and how they perceive you. 
  • Share your message to the world in the comments so everyone can see who you are.

In the end, if there is only one thing to remember, it most certainly is : 

preparation + opportunity = success

Photo by Anna Urlapova

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