Recognizing Influencers

Recognizing Influencers

I have the daily privilege of meeting many different people. Some are leaders, some are not. Some are influencers, some are not. Some are just starting out and gathering all the knowledge they can, while others are finishing off their careers and sharing their information. I love attending conferences and professional development training because it gives me the opportunity to meet so many people. This fall, I am excited about attending two of the best conferences for meeting and rubbing shoulders with sponsorship industry leaders and influencers. These are the WSC in the 613 in Ottawa in September and the WSC Alberta Forum in Calgary in November. Check out their web sites and see the topics and line-up of influencers who will be presenters—incredible speakers at both events!

It is one thing to go to an event chock-full of influencers, but how do you recognize the true influencers at a conference or even in your own workplace? Just because someone has a lofty title such as director, VP, or COO does not mean they are an influencer. The organization chart is not the road map to determine an influencer. Sometimes, one of the biggest influencers can hold the title of administration assistant or something similar. These folks often wield a great deal of power and influence. In recent meetings and discussions, we came up with three key attributes of people who typically are influencers.

1.They are humble with a high degree of integrity. They are there to do their jobs. They don’t ring bells or need big titles. They stay below the radar and do exceptional work with minimal to no fanfare.

2.They are connected. They know a great many people and can gain access to them. They are not flashy about it and they don’t recite names of who they know. They just make things happen and you wonder how they did it. They get the job done because they are well connected. This does not happen overnight—it takes time to get connected!

3. They are “relationship people.” They work hard to build meaningful and authentic relationships. They are the type of folks that, if you have a relationship with them, they will have your back. They will support you. They will be there when you need a favour. They are truly there to help you get ahead. It is through being relationship oriented that they build connected networks with other influencers.

So, look around at work. Who fits this model? They are probably the folks who have the ear of the head honcho. They are the folks you want to watch. If you are at a conference like the WSC full of influencers and industry leaders, look for the ones with these attributes and connect with them. They will take you to where you want to go!

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  1. Bang on. Someone wise once told me to pay attention to the person on the reception desk. The influence these people have is remarkable. They know everyone, how the company works, and who actually does what because they’re the go-to person for everyone in the organization. We too often dismiss the real influencers for lack of title. I say, beware the Gatekeepers.

  2. John,
    Thanks for reading and for the note. I truly agree… the receptionist and the gatekeepers (like the EAs) really are huge influencers. Hope you are well. Brent


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