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?