How to be a person of influence

Have you ever considered that you are unique?

And did you know that you can’t be degrees of unique? You can’t be very unique or kind of unique or super unique.

Unique means that you are absolutely one of a kind.

The Oxford definition, which is obvs the best definition, is as follows: “being the only one of its kind, unlike anything else.”

So, by definition, when I say you’re unique, I mean that you are truly one of a kind.

While you might share some similarities with a bunch of other people, the exact combo of attributes that make up who you are has never been seen before and will never be seen again.

I don’t care what your enneagram is, what your Myers-Briggs is, what your DISC profile says, and how all of those tests shove you into a box that you think defines you. (See Benjamin Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent for a freeing take on personality tests.)

You cannot be categorized.

What does this have to do with influence?

The best way for you to be an influence in the lives of those around you is for you to own your uniqueness and lean into each interaction you have with each person by being who you are.

I understand that we all have some personality bits that need to be worked on and edited and improved upon. Each one of us can be ‘too much’ or ‘not enough’ in different situations.

In my humble opinion, we need to lean into those parts of ourselves more than we need to try to cover them up or change them. Don’t fart in church or during that sales presentation, of course, but generally, be as you as you possibly can.

We’ve all been in situations where we were hitting on all cylinders, being ourselves, not worrying about what people thought, and realizing we were making an impact on the environment.

You brought your special brand of humor, empathy, skill, courage, insight, kindness, and twist of phrase to the table.

You were willing to participate with your unique spin and everybody was the better for it.

You can create art that nobody else can think of. You can study science or philosophy or literature in a way that discovers new perspective. You can be a friend to someone in a way that is just what that person needs.

My point is this: Do not try to imitate the way others influence their worlds. I have a few mentors – both in real life and virtual through books, podcasts, etc. If I try to be influential like, say, Jocko Willink, I’ll come off like a very low-rent version of Jocko and will look silly. I’ve tried. Just ask my kids.

But if I simply learn of Jocko, yet bring my own quirky brand of personality to leadership or other situation, then the authenticity and unique approach will be a one of a kind experience.

And I’m just enough of a woo-woo guy to think that each moment that we have is an opportunity to have impact. And the way to maximize that impact is by bringing who we are to that moment, being present, and being authentic, and engaging.

That is how you become a person of influence. Dig in and get after it!

Be you.

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