Just because someone has influence doesn’t mean they have character. ~ Art Jonak
It became crystal clear again this week that in the absence of character bluster and bravado are a poor replacement. When authorities and leaders resort to ad hominem and strawman attacks because they have made self-righteous and self-aggrandizing choices that they can’t defend with logic or honesty.
It would seem that I should be equally skeptical of the corollary ” just because someone has character doesn’t mean they have influence”. It would be depressing and disappointing to consider that honesty, transparent, caring people lack influence. It is likely just a matter of scale. If 100,000 Twitter followers or 10,000,000 YouTube views suggests influence then a meaningful relationship and mentorship is insignificant. But if a changed life, a changed disposition or a changed heart is the measure then influence may be inversely proportional to following or views.
I had two remarkable meetings today where we discussed a range of issues and differences of opinions. I left both with a fresh perspective, new data points and challenges and a sense of fulfillment. Both meetings were far more influential than any Facebook post or Instagram photo I will encounter today.
Make Today Remarkable, by setting your expectations at a human scale,
Can people around you make you happy? Turns out that we are masters of our own domain and many of our emotions are within the span of our control but, the big but is that if we are surrounded by negativity, it begins to pervade our tendencies. If we hang out with negative people we begin to have negative feelings regardless of how we structure our mindfulness. Even, if we read negative status posts on social media, we get nudged towards negative thoughts about our own lives. A large Facebook study determined that the degree of happiness and contentment we feel is significantly impacted by who we follow and whose posts we spend time reading.
If we can be influenced by fleeting glimpses from Facebook, imagine the impact that we can have on those who we are closest to; our partner, children, friends and coworkers or they can have on us. Are you being dragged down by constantly surrounding yourself with unhappy people? Are you choosing to be unhappy in this moment, today, this week? Would you prefer to feel joy rather than despair? This is where the power over your own decisions comes back into play. You get to decide how you act (If you consciously choose to) and how you feel. When you finishing reading this post, spend 10 minutes exuding happiness, being exceptionally social and expressing gratitude.
Start with 10 minutes and build to an hour, then 2,3,4. You will be amazed at how quickly a dramatically your experience and that of those around you will improve. Once the momentum shifts to happiness, the impact goes viral and becomes infectious to a much larger audience. It takes commitment and persistent incremental change to keep the ball rolling but my/your 10 minutes can grow into a neighborhood celebration.
The world is large and we aren’t but we can make a big difference if we commit and change how we act.
Make Today Remarkable, by choosing 10 minutes of happiness, being social and expressing gratitude.
Robert Cialdini is world-renowned by his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” (1984), which I continue to re-read. In this book, Cialdini exposes his 6 principles of persuasion or influence.
1. The Principe of Reciprocity – this borders on The Golden Rule where you get back what you lay down. Honesty begets honesty. Rudeness returns rudeness. Intimacy allows intimacy.
2. The Principle of Scarcity – The heart wants what the heart wants especially if it shouldn’t/couldn’t wouldn’t have it. It explains “on sale, today only”, “by invitation only” “One hour left”
3. The Principle of Authority – in the west we associate knowledge with hierarchy. Celebrities are big influencers when they talk about political ideas or products, even if they are not experts on the topics they talk about.
4. The Principle of Commitment and Consistency – We continue to do those things that we did before, even if we didn’t rally ruminate on the action in the first place. We agree with things that we have public ally supported. We are interested in those things that confirm our biases.
5. The Principle of Social Proof – for most people in Europe and North America, we tend to accept or embrace the majority position of our tribe. We are more like those around us than people who we disagree with.
6. The Principle of Liking – Our discernment is reduced when faced with a person, idea or business that is surrounded by the aura of someone who has characteristics that we already appreciate.(Think -Koolaid, Google, pretty endorsers)
Make Today Remarkable, by exercising some persuasion,