How Does Influence Work In The Real World?

Last week I spoke at a conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. It was a great event but one of the highlights for me was to get to be with three of my favorite people.

David Jobe, Paul Hineman, and Jim Crystal.

These three have become some of my best friends and strongest advocates but I think they represent to me what Influence really looks like.

Each are involved in different capacities in the food industry. They have build successful careers, stellar reputations and meaningful relationships.

As I’ve gotten to know each of them, their generosity has amazed me. They are constantly asking, “Who can I introduce you to?” or “How can I help you move your business forward?”

I thought it was unique to me, but it’s not. It’s how they’ve gotten ahead – by focusing on building others.

In my world, their influence has led to me speaking at and for:

FARE (Foodservice at Retail Exchange), Outlook Leadership Conference, First Watch Restaurants, Idahoan, Trident Seafood, Coca-Cola, McCallister’s Deli, Silver Diner Restaurants, FLEX (Financial Leadership Exchange), Maverick Convenience Stores, The National Restaurant Association, Choice Hotels, SHFM (Society of Hospitality & Foodservice MGMT), CHART (Council for Hotel & Restaurant Trainers), Buffalo Wings & Rings, Nestle Water, Perkins Restaurants, FarmerBoys, Tijuana Flats Burrito, FRLA (Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association), Sage Hospitality MGMT, Smokey Bones Bar & Grill, TDN2K, Oklahoma Restaurant Association, FABLE (Food & Beverage Leadership Exchange), Ram Restaurants, Pjs Coffee, AHF (The Association of Healthcare Foodservice, CRU (Convenience Retailing University – quite the list!

What inspires me as I think about this is that I have the ability to become more of an influencer and be more like David, Paul and Jim.

I can be more of a cheerleader for others – they are very positive and supportive of others.

I can be more genuine in building relationships – they get to know people and maintain great connection.

I can focus on contribution (how can I help others) instead of achievement (how can I get ahead) – they are others focused

I can deliver great value – each of them are value adders who have done substantial things in their industry

I can stay humble and keep learning – I am amazed at their willingness to learn and grow

I can bring my whole self to every situation – each of them are authentic and real in all situations.

I hope we can all learn to be a little bit more like these three friends whom I greatly look up to.

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