Some of them have been enlightening, interesting, and useful for PR pros while others seemed to be not much more than over-hyped failed puffery.
I'm not going to try muddy the waters of defining what influence is. However, I do think influence can be clarified and meaningful for an individual by thinking a little about what it's not.
The opposite of being influential is being neutral.
Neutral is defined as "not aligned with or supporting any side or position in a controversy; of no particular kind, characteristics, etc.; and not causing or reflecting a change in something." That last part is the one that strikes me as particularly important as we start a new year.
Not causing or reflecting a change in something sounds like a pretty apathetic existence to me. So how can you be an influencer in 2011?
- Be a student.
- Be a teacher.
- Be a mentor.
- Be good at what you do.
- Be a remarkable spouse, parent, caregiver, and friend.
- Listen like you mean it.
- Do your work ethically.
- Do something outside your comfort box.
- Pay attention to the details.
- Get off the cruise ship and get on the battle ship for your family, work, and life.
- Laugh with (not at) other people.
- Share your knowledge.
- Help others grow personally and professionally.
- Study something new.
- Explore your surroundings.
- Share your findings.
- Take calculated risks.
- Take a stand.
- Stand for good.
- Go get (finish) that degree, advanced degree, and/or accreditation.
- Change your mind.
- Help make good changes.
- Give good news.
- Give of your time, talent, and treasure for meaningful causes.
- Let people know you care.
Neutral is idling with the vehicle running and wasting energy. Put 2011 in Drive then Go.