People who impact the world for the better know that they are not perfect. They understand how their knowledge isn’t “complete” – there are always gaps, biases, limitations and prejudices, and new places to go with their expertise.
Yes, there are powerful narcissists aplenty, but their influence isn’t positive or helpful in the long run – it’s damaging and destructive. Innovators who positively shape the world come from a “beginner’s mind” and a loving, compassionate heart – with an openness to see, learn, and experience new things on the way to being a better servant of the world.
3. They engage with people in loving, open, mutually-beneficial ways.
Those with huge positive influence understand the power of relationships, connection, and engaging with the world openly. They’re not afraid to get “out there” – connecting with others, generously sharing their knowledge and talents, offering their authentic and often contrarian viewpoints and opinions.
They’ve pushed beyond any introversion, shyness or reluctance to be who they are, and have learned how to relate well with others and build mutually-supportive relationships that catapult both parties to a higher level. They know that positive, supportive and authentic relationships are the foundational building blocks to anything and everything they want to achieve.
4. They invest time and energy not in what is, but what can be.
The people I’ve interacted with and interviewed who’ve made a huge positive impact in the world don’t settle for conformity – in fact, they’re often demonstrated traits that make them a rare breed. When they see something that agitates and disturbs them, they strive to know more, get to the root of the challenge, research and understand the contributing factors, and arrive at new solutions.
They observe gaps and mistakes in common thinking and behavior, and trust themselves in their belief that it’s time to push the boundaries of what’s accepted. They want to affect change because they believe change will bring a better way to live.
5. They embrace critique.
The most powerful positive influencers don’t need or want to be “right” – they want to grow and be more effective. For that to occur, they walk right into critique, and they embrace the challenge. They’re not afraid to put their work out there for others to poke holes in. They are strong and confident in the face of opposition, yet know how to integrate constructive feedback to strengthen their work and ideas. They engage in open dialogue and welcome scrutiny.
6. They spread what they know.
We’ve all met authors or “experts” who keep their knowledge secret, close to the vest. They’re afraid to let it out for fear someone will steal it or make money on their ideas. This is the opposite of the positive influencer’s mindset.
Those who make a true positive difference can’t help but share and teach what they’ve learned. They don’t see their knowledge as just some commodity to sell, as a meal ticket or a money maker – they see it as information that has to be shared with the world for its betterment.
They believe their ideas and innovations are of use and value to others, and can’t help but share those openly, and teach others what they’ve learned. They understand the universal principle at work – “the more you give, the more you get.”
7. They uplift others as they ascend.
You’ve experienced, as I have, scores of “leaders” and high-achievers who’ve gotten where they are by stepping on the heads and backs of those in the way. These are not true leaders or influencers because their power is a sham – it was obtained unethically and is shallow and weak, and can’t be sustained over the long haul. I have encountered power-mongers who were crushing and cruel to their subordinates and I wondered when they would finally reap what they’ve sown. Over the long term, this day always comes.
On the other hand, people who positively impact the world not only obtain amazing results in their work, but their process of obtaining these results – how they operate in life — is also inspiring and uplifting.