Here’s How You Actually Build Long-term Influence

Everyone seems to want more and more influence.  As a student of leadership, this observation piqued my interested. How does one actually build influence?

What is it that allows certain people to have huge influence over other’s lives, where as others even if they want to seem to be always limited in their influence over others?

Consider how John Maxwell defines leadership: “Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.”

influence model

At GiANT Worldwide, we talk about an influence model, a powerful lens which helps you begin to understand the dynamics that are at play in the interaction of human relationship.

Whenever you meet somebody new, and someone you’d like to have influence and impact in, they are asking two questions.

They may not say it out loud, but what they’re really saying is “Do I trust your character?” Is there something about you, which means I’m drawn that you’re a person of integrity?

But they’re also asking this: Do you have credible competency? In other words, can you help me in a specific area I’m struggling in?

You can’t have one without the other. But where you have both the person you’re seeking to influence is open for relationship. And the trouble is this. A lot of us with our walls of self-preservation use our credible competency, use the fact that we can make people can trust us to take a transaction because at that point people will buy what you are selling.  We go away, we squeeze the duck and we ring the bell. We celebrate the fact we made another sale. But you’ve left long term influence on the table. 

If you’re prepared to break through your wall of self-preservation and actually establish relationship, if you’re willing to put relationship before opportunities, opportunities for influence and impact will come ultimately. Therefore, one of the challenges we all have is how to be someone who develops long term relationships.

The influence model helps you ask the question. Where do I need to grow? Where there is a disconnect to a relationship. Which of those issues is it? Is it that they don’t trust me yet? Is there something about my character or is it something in my competency that they’re not sure about it yet?

How Do I Build My 4Cs?


  • Mirror Behaviors. Watch this video by Tony Robbins on how to build rapport by matching and mirroring behaviors.
  • Ask powerful and genuine questions. Here’s five questions that will help you connect with anyone in 5 minutes.
  • Be interested before being interesting.
  • Establish common ground. Find areas of commonality in your interaction.


  • Embody your core values.
  • Lead by example.
  • Be vulnerable, reveal your weaknesses.
  • Be for them, not against them, nor for yourself.
  • Freely give what you freely received


  • Leaders are readers. How are you applying life-long learning in every aspect of your life?
  • Be relevant, not a know-it-all.
  • Leverage the 10,000 hour rule. Find your niche and be intentionally committed in growing in that area.


  • Articulate a compelling leadership story. People are drawn by stories from the heart that speaks to your expertise.
  • Build social proof. Leverage social media to build a strong platform.
  • Identify your track record and weave it into your personal brand.

And that opportunity is so much richer than a purely initial transaction that you walk away from. Ten years from now all kinds of doors open because you’re a leader who has learned how to build relationships that last.

Question: What will you intentionally do and not do to grow your influence?