Archives For qualities of influence

Yesterday, I began a list of 12 characteristics of influential people. The list comes from the Roper Research, and is contained in a book called, The Influentials. I enjoyed it because they boil down the kinds of traits that attract others to follow. If you care about leveraging positive influence on others, this list may intrigue you. Here is Part II of the list I started yesterday:

7. They value education and believe it is key to the future.
These influential folks place a high value on education. Most of them are college educated and want the same for their children. They believe it is key to the “good life” and realizing dreams.

8. They demand a job that is interesting, enjoyable and contributes to society.
They want a job that’s defined by 3 criteria: interesting to perform, enjoyable to them, and one that benefits or adds value to society at large. Work must benefit others, not just generate a profit.

9. They are visionaries, and keepers of society’s high ideals.
They possess a vision of tomorrow and it helps them maintain hope. They tend to dream, and hold fast to society’s highest ideals and values. People lean on them to remind others of the big picture.

10. They feel they are responsible to their communities and the world around them.
This was interesting. Far and away, these influentials are most likely to feel responsible to their communities. They cannot just “live and let live.” They believe they are accountable to others.

11. They define success as loving and being loved by their family.
Along with their spiritual beliefs, they define success not with money, but as loving their spouse and kids. They want to “win at home” before trying to accomplish something on the job.

12. They believe in growth and change.
Finally, these influentials are predisposed to growth and they welcome change. They are the first to adapt and change in order to grow. They are into progress and improvement.

Let me ask you the obvious question. As a leader — do you possess these qualities? If you are an emerging leader — are you building these in your life? These are not necessarily the characteristics that automatically make a person highly influential, but the vast majority of the most influential citizens of our country carry these virtues. It can’t be just a coincidence. I believe they explain part of the reason others listen to them. May you become a person of influence yourself.

OK. Let me hear from you. Is it right or wrong to want influence? Should people focus on following well, and let leadership take care of itself? Or if we should cultivate our influence, do you have any characteristics to add to this list?


Just re-read a book I wanted to pass along to you. It’s called, The Influentials, by Ed Keller and Jon Berry. If you care about leveraging positive influence on others, you’ll enjoy their insights. In the book they document the type of person who carries great influence in America. Their research says that 1 in 10 people pretty much influence others where to eat, how to vote and what to buy. They are the people that others listen to, watch and follow their lead.

Keller and Berry call these folks “The Influentials.” While I was intrigued by much of their research, I was especially drawn to the conclusions about what qualified a person as an “influential.” What is the make-up and personality of an “influential?” According to nationwide Roper Research, the following qualities sum up these influential persons. I plan to blog about the list today and tomorrow. Here are the first 6 qualities:

1. They are able to sort out and define what matters.
These influentials can sift through all the noise and clutter, and determine what’s important. Then, they follow through on what they believe are the top priorities. They don’t get lost in the mundane.

2. They are more optimistic than the average person.
Influential people believe the future is bright and consequently, they plan to engage in it. Their dreams are bigger than their memories, and they live with the hope of an amazing 21st century.

3. They are selective and discriminating in their choices.
People listen to these influentials because they scrutinize their decisions, skeptical of empty promises in the media. They’re not Pollyannas. They’re discerning as they plan what to do or buy.

4. They are authentic; they don’t just follow the norm but think for themselves.
These influentials don’t merely follow he crowd. They carve out a life that suits their identity, and aren’t afraid to live a life that is a bit different than mainstream society.

5. They are good listeners and are very teachable.
According to research, these influentials list good listening skills as a high goal for themselves, especially if they’re in leadership positions. Although they know a lot, they listen to learn more.

6. They believe in God and are active in serving their communities.
More than the average person, influentials believe in God and claim to have a relationship with Him. Consequently, they are active in serving voluntarily in their communities and churches.

If you’re like me, you’ve thought about this issue. Let me hear from you. Is it right or wrong to want influence? Should people focus on following well, and let leadership take care of itself?

Or if we should cultivate our influence, do you have any characteristics to add to this list? What are the characteristics you believe make a person influential?