The influencers

A quick diversion before we resume with our recent series on the topic of "your marketing sucks."

Let's talk about the influencers.

For those gifted in the art of the English language, and according to Merriam Webster, the word "influence" is a noun. Influence is defined as the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

I don't mind saying that through my childhood my Mom and Dad were my greatest influencers. I've said before to anyone that would listen that I won the lottery being born to Earl and Darlene. "Can't never did anything" was the one that sticks in my mind.

Growing up in the Midwest was certainly an influencer. Unconditional love. "It's not about me, it's about the other guy." Work ethic. Competitiveness. Perseverance. Adapting to the environment. Resilience. I like to believe that those are the qualities or virtues that define me.

Later on certainly Coach Hayes. "The People, the Tradition, The Excellence" and 'Paying Forward" was his legacy and mantra. That legacy still thrives today several generations later….

Moving on from college, now in a pure business setting, Jim Sloan was a great mentor to a fresh kid coming out of college. All because he took an interest in me. I am reminded in this moment that we all need our hero's in life. Jim Sloan was (is) my hero.

Mark Johnson. Other than a heartfelt "thank you" and a "hat tip", what more can I say?

Distant or virtual influencers (frankly, too many to mention) include Lombardi, Saban, Lencioni, Wickman, Harnish, Deming, Drucker, Juran, Lore…all inspirational to some degree and at some level.

You've heard the old adage that "you are a reflection of the five people that you spend the most time with." Question, who are those five people for you? And, what have you gained through your association with that influencer?

In repose, you'll notice with a quick accounting that we all have influencers. Who influences you? Your essence? Your being?

EPILOGUE: Have you taken time to thank them?