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How to be a great leader: 10 habits to HAVE INFLUENCE

In the age of the internet and social networks, becoming an influencer is practically a profession in its own right.  But what exactly is an influencer? How do you gain influence? And how to be a great leader by developing one’s influence?

If you think it’s about being selfish, self-entered, you’re wrong. Influencing others means first and foremost making them aware and involved in a cause that is important to you. It means having a positive impact in the world. Regardless of your profession, it’s a great way to make your work even more valuable.

Developing your influence is like a game. It’s a game with its own rules and strategies that you can learn and practice.

In order to make the world a better place, you most likely have ideas about what should be changed. Most people think that creating that change is someone else’s job. But you can have a different choice: make the change yourself.

Probably Gandhi’s most famous phrase is: “be the change you want to see in the world”. The leader you’ve been waiting for is you.

The game of influence has existed since the beginning of human societies. While the development of the Internet and social networks have made it much easier to develop a relationship with a large number of people, the principles of the game have always remained the same.

It is simply a matter of learning and practicing a small set of skills and habits.

Self-promotion is not bragging

You may believe, even unconsciously, that if you are really, really good at what you do, you wouldn’t need to promote yourself. If the fruit of your work (a product, a book, a work of art) is of excellent quality, the world will naturally notice it.

This is not true: merit alone will not allow you to achieve success. It is surely an essential ingredient, but without specific actions on your part to develop your influence, the scope of your work will remain limited.

I’ve written a book summary which goes deeper into this topic, performance alone won’t lead to success. People need to know that we are good at something. The formula: the universal laws of success.

Many people confuse self-promotion with “bragging” and avoid it at all costs. But there is a huge difference between the two:

When one boasts, one is focused only on oneself, it is a selfish act, which often starts from a feeling of lack, of need.

When one promotes oneself, on the contrary, one is first focused on others, on how to help them and bring them value. We start from a feeling of abundance and love.

When you deeply love what you do, and realize it for what you can bring to others, you will want to talk about it because you will find it wrong not to.

Here are the 10 habits of highly influential people so that you understand more how to be a great leader.

how to be a great leader

1- How to be a great leader: Play big

Influential people bring a lot of value to others (they solve a big problem for them). They focus on that problem and exclude everything else; they are confident and know that their fears are of no use.

So the first thing to do is to be very clear: what problem are you solving for others? Do others know that they have the problem you want to help them solve? If not, what problem do they say they have? Who is your audience?

You need to know exactly who your audience is, and they need to clearly understand what you are doing for them.

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place, to really help others, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to dream big: in the game of influence, the bigger the dream, the easier it is to create influence.

People also read: the magic of thinking big

2- How to be a great leader: Authenticity

Influential people deal with issues that are important to them, and only play the influence game with people they deeply respect.

Creating influence around ideas and projects requires daily work and care, much like gardening. To ensure this constant involvement, what you do must be aligned with who you are and what you love to do.

Your inner voice must agree with what your outer voice is saying. The more it is, the more you will be yourself, and the more people will trust you.

Otherwise, your primary motivators may be money or power, and your message will sound insincere, and other influencers will not take you seriously

Ask yourself: what do I like to do most? What talents come to you naturally and effortlessly?

People also read: How to find your life purpose

3- How to be a great leader: From one to many

Influential people spend much of their time communicating in a “one to many” mode (their followers or any audience). Since time is their most valuable resource, they choose to talk to as many people as possible at a time.

Having an online presence is probably one of the most effective ways to have one-to-many conversations. Options can be creating a newsletter, speaking at conferences, a Vlog…

Also seek out other influencers to increase the reach of your message. For example, you may want to start with a list of 10 people in the field you are interested in. Then start contacting the people you feel are most accessible to you, thinking about how you can add value to them.

When the key players in your field start supporting you, your project or business will grow exponentially.

4- How to be a great leader: Influence is a bargaining chip

Influential people use their influence as a currency: they accumulate it to spend it in their relationships with other influencers.

If you try to bring them value in the form of lunch or a helping hand at home, it may be a nice gesture, but it will not be as powerful as giving them access to other forms of influence.

The way to build win-win relationships with other influential people is to offer each other influence. It is give-and-take that will come naturally between people who respect each other.

Any request that requires a lot of time on the part of your interlocutor, or that puts his or her reputation at risk, is proof that you do not understand the game, and you will be systematically rejected.

5- Establish powerful relationships with other influencers

Influential people develop deep relationships with other influential people whom they respect and admire, regardless of their field.

If you want to move your project forward, don’t waste energy trying to convince everyone. Find people who share your world view, bring them together and push them hard.

Don’t worry about skeptics or opponents, your only concern should be to move forward with those who want to follow you. Others will eventually be drawn into the movement.

How do you do this? Bring influential people together. It may not be easy at first, but get out of your comfort zone and practice!

Structure your efforts by making a clear plan with a list of influencers you are interested in, think about how you can increase their influence, and contact them with your proposal.



how to be a great leader


6- How to be a great leader: Create cycles of reciprocity

“Never start your relationship with an influential person with a request, rather start with an offer of help.“

Influential people build their deep relationships through cycles of reciprocity.

It is a cycle of giving and receiving that naturally takes place over time.

And it goes much further than the simple feeling of obligation we may feel when someone has helped us. It is the result of mutual admiration and respect that builds over time.

Within this framework, never start your relationship with an influential person (or with anyone else for that matter) with a request, rather start with an offer of help. Continue to invest in this relationship without asking for anything: sooner or later an offer of help will come in return.

If not, you have two options: either the relationship doesn’t work out, in which case there’s no point in insisting. Or it’s not the right timing: you just have to wait for the right moment.

7- How to be a great leader: Connecting influential people

Influential people are constantly connecting with others.

Get into the habit of always having people meet each other. When you know two people at an event, connect them. This habit will take you from a novice to an expert in the game of influence.

This is when your own influence accelerates significantly. Starting from your list of influential people to contact, you can, for example, start making email introductions with two of them.

Try to highlight what each of them can bring to the other, and how their mutual influence can benefit.

When you’re more comfortable with this game, you can also ask an influencer if they can put you in touch with someone else, by sending them an email proposal to make it easier for them.

People also read: How to network

8- Becoming a connector hub

Influential people serve their community by becoming a focal point for other influential people.

When influencers see you as a connector in your field, they will see you as a leader; and as an influencer in return.

Opportunities to participate as an organizer or guest at events multiply, the attention and focus you have so far directed to others begin to pay off and be directed back to you.


Sometimes you can confuse expertise and influence, but they are two different things: when you bring other influencers together, you gain a level of credibility equal to or even greater than what you look like.

You may not have increased your expertise, but you have definitely increased your influence.

So consider your generosity and putting yourself at the service of others as a very effective way to gain leadership in your field.

9- Engage and involve others

Influential people are masters in the art of engaging and involving others. They know how to sell an idea or a vision and inspire others to act on it.

Now that you have established strong relationships with other influencers, don’t hesitate to submit your idea or project to the two or three people with whom you have the best relationship for feedback.

If you present your plan with enthusiasm and passion, chances are high that your people will want to help you.

As long as you are at the beginning of your project, you have the best opportunity to refine and adapt the plan in depth, and even repeatedly. You are likely to receive conflicting feedback, or ideas that after reflection you decide not to implement.

This is perfectly normal, and no one will hold it against you. Just show the people you’ve solicited that you’ve taken their feedback very seriously.

10- Develop your influence: Taking action

Influential people take action on a regular and repeated basis to achieve their goals. When they do not know what action to take, they take the action of seeking advice.

The speed at which one moves forward is really not that important. What matters is having a plan and following it, one step at a time. Unfortunately, common sense is rarely common practice.

No actions = no results.

Even if you are not too sure how to do it, already take an action and then analyze the results. Did it bring you closer to your goals? If not, what else can you do that is different that would have a better chance of working?

If you passionately dedicate yourself to the subject you love, the action will allow you to live a life full of joy and accomplishment, and will allow you to always learn new things along the way.


There you have it, you have discovered the 10 habits of highly influential people, as recommended by Teresa de Grosbois. These habits will allow you to gain more influence in the field you are passionate about, they will give energy to your project to make the world a better place.

If you are interested in this subject, I advise you to read the article dedicated to the book “Tribes”, by Seth Godin.

Until next time



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