The Anatomy of an Influential Person

I want you to think of the most influential person you know. For some people, a specific person pops into your head right away. For others, you may struggle to recall if you have ever even met someone that you would consider ‘influential’. What does influential even mean? Personally, I would consider a wide assortment of people in my life influential, for many different reasons. For example, my mom is influential because she has been the most consistent presence in my life and demonstrates a life full of hard work and compassion, she has inspired many aspects of my family life. I have had superiors that have worked so incredibly hard and have such amazing stories that they have inspired my major or career choices. I have even met strangers on the street that I had 60 second interactions with that still impact me to this day. I vividly remember their kindness and how they influence the way I treat those around me.


 Have you ever met someone like this and immediately felt captivated by their ambiance? I know that a couple specific people pop into my head when I try to answer this. Some people are so intoxicating to be around, but have you ever thought about why that is? What makes a person stand out from the crowd or at least stick in your mind? 


I spent a week dedicated to investigating the answer to this question, asking everyone I knew to tell me about the most influential person in their life. I got answers ranging anywhere from family members to church leaders to kanye west. All bringing me a little closer to answering the question, “What makes an influential person, influential?”. I believe that knowing the anatomy of an influential person will help all of us to be able to recognize an impactful person and hopefully to become more intentional with the way we interact with others.


  1. Composition is Key 


One of the most common things I heard when interviewing people was, “They just always seem to have it all together,”. This was extremely intriguing to me because even if they don’t really have it all together, an influential person will make it appear as if they do to those around them. Some ways they achieve this is by not dwelling on the negatives, dressing for success, preparation, and time management. Focusing on the good in your life will make it seem to others as if there is never any bad and the cherry on top is that it will help restructure your cognitive thinking to be primarily positive, making you a naturally more positive person! Even though we don’t always admit it, people tend to respect those that compose themselves well and seem organized. A few tips for accomplishing this is by making sure to put effort into how you present yourself and always being on time and prepared.


  1. Interact with Intention


Influential people have mastered the art of conversation and interaction. They are knowledgeable, but above that, they know how to apply their wisdom in a way that helps and guides people as opposed to using it just to show off. Most of the people I interviewed talked about the way the impactful people in their life makes them feel whenever they interact. Some ways that they achieve this is by making others feel comfortable, being accepting and judgement free, and talking about themselves less. I quickly realized that many of these attributes are attributes that Jesus also exemplified. People want to feel as if they are pursued and seen, so a person who is able to do that will certainly have a deep impact on their life!


  1. Love Others Genuinely 


My dad always told me that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. This expression has stuck with me for 19 years and will continue to be in the forefront of my mind as I continue to grow in every aspect of my life. This expression basically means that until you build a relationship with someone, you have no chance of making an impact on their life. I have found this to be very useful as I network and build community with people, the more you work on your relationship with someone, the easier it is to become an influence in their life, and them in yours. Like Jesus, the most impactful thing you can do is accept people for who they are and love them unconditionally.

Anyone has the time to learn how to manage and take control of others, but very few people take the time to deeply inspire those around them with their love, kindness, and knowledge, and that is what makes up the anatomy of an influential person.