Learn how to identify a role model that inspired you to succeed. Study the methods that made them so impactful and create ways you can honor their contribution.
- Think of someone in your life who's had significant positive influence on you. Maybe it's a parent, a coach, a teacher or a friend. Maybe they encouraged you to believe in yourself or empowered you to do things you didn't know you could. Who are these people for you? Pick one of them and answer the following four questions. One, who is this very special person in your life and why do you choose them as one of your biggest positive influencers? Two, what specifically did they say or do that you found so meaningful? Three, what are the results of their actions on you and your life and four, going forward, what are some things you can do for yourself and for others to honor this person's contribution to you? What would make these people who are so meaningful to you most proud of you? What we just did might not seem like it at first but it is in fact perhaps the most powerful positive influence tool of all. It's an activity designed based on my research. In my interviews with these extraordinary positive influencers across different cultures and types of organizations, a pattern emerged. Ask these amazing people how they influence others and they'll say things like, ah, let me tell you about my grandfather or their mother or high school coach, a manager or a mentor. They talk about special people from their lives who inspired them, people who helped them, led by example, contributed to their success and wellbeing so meaningfully that it left a permanent positive effect. As an example, I remember a conversation with one of my mentors Kouji Nakata. He was born during World War II in an internment camp in California. He's Japanese American and his parents were farm laborers. He struggled with differences in language and culture with prejudice and he was failing in school. He took a required aptitude test and scored 86 where a score of 85 or below was an indicator of mental disability. He had no aspirations for himself but a middle school teacher named Lester Tanner did. Kouji said it was due to this one man's influence that he took an entirely different path in life. Mr. Tanner encouraged Kouji and gave him different kinds of tests to show his true potential. Instead of 86, he scored 134. He continued to mentor him through high school and Kouji ultimately got a PhD and became an aspiring leader, mentor, husband, father and grandfather. What Kouji does is what the most effective influencers do each in their own unique way. They always keep inspiring role models from their personal past near in their thoughts and close in their hearts. They see influence through the eyes of people they deeply admire and they strive to honor their legacy. It's not something to pay off. It's something to keep paying forward. It's not just a way to get things done. It's a way to be as a person, a parent, a spouse, a friend or a manager, a coworker, a leader. It's not an obligation. It's a motivation. Inspiration based influence lasts a lifetime. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
- Name a feeling that might inhibit you from inspiration-based influence.
- Explain how to most appropriately balance short-term and long-term results.
- Assess why “pains and gains” is a powerful motivator.
- List the steps of the advice influence technique.
- Identify the first thing you do when using social proof.