1. They think for themselves
Influential people form their opinions carefully, based on the facts. They’re more than willing to change their mind when the facts support it, but they aren’t influenced by what other people think, only by what they know.
2. They are graciously disruptive
Influential people are never satisfied with the status quo. They constantly ask, “What if?” and “Why not?” They’re not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, and they don’t disrupt things for the sake of being disruptive; they do it to make things better.
3. They inspire conversation
When influential people speak, conversations spread like ripples in a pond. And those ripples are multidirectional; influencers inspire everyone around them to explore new ideas and think differently about their work.
4. They leverage their networks
Influential people know how to make lasting connections. Not only do they know a lot of people, they get to know their connections’ connections. More importantly, they add value to everyone in their network. They share advice and know how, and they make connections between people who should get to know each other.
5. They focus only on what really matters
Influential people aren’t distracted by trivialities. They’re able to cut through the static and clutter, focus on what matters, and point it out to everyone else. They speak only when they have something important to say, and they never bore people with idle banter.
6. They welcome disagreement
Influential people do not react emotionally and defensively to dissenting opinions — they welcome them. They’re humble enough to know that they don’t know everything and that someone else might see something they missed. And if that person is right, they embrace the idea wholeheartedly because they care more about the end result than being right.
7. They are proactive
Influential people don’t wait for things like new ideas and new technologies to find them; they seek those things out. These early adopters always want to anticipate what’s next. They’re influential because they see what’s coming, and they see what’s coming because they intentionally look for it.
8. They respond rather than react
If someone criticizes an influential person for making a mistake, influential people don’t react immediately and emotionally. They wait and think. And then they deliver an appropriate response. Influential people know how important relationships are, and they won’t let an emotional overreaction harm theirs.
9. They believe
Influential people always expect the best. They believe in their own power to achieve their dreams, and they believe others share that same power. They believe that nothing is out of reach, and that belief inspires those around them to stretch for their own goals.