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Success Advice

The Key to Success: Understanding and Constructively Using Our Influence



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All humans strive for success, although not all of us think about success in the same way. Yes, there are many stereotypical views of success and sometimes these views can get in the way of individuals realizing that they actually have already achieved it.

In my experience, success is a result of understanding and using our individual influence in a positive way. Leaders understand that it’s not the control they have over others that makes them successful, but it’s their ability to positively influence others to accomplish goals and develop as human beings. 

To achieve the kind of success that allows us to be a positive influence for ourselves and our teams, consider these tips: 

1. Slow down

One of the most important habits successful individuals cultivate is the ability to slow down. Slowing down allows us to become more aware — more mindful — of our thoughts, words, decisions, actions, and reactions, which all define our influence. It allows us to become fully aware of our environment. 

2. Listen to learn

When we give ourselves the opportunity to listen, we ensure that we’re truly present for the conversation and we are able to listen to learn. Listening to learn can enhance our objectivity, empathy, and ability to accept that not everyone has the same opinions or perceptions as us. In doing so, we create an environment for everyone to learn and grow. This can be difficult if the person with whom we’re conversing doesn’t choose to slow down or listen to learn. However, using our positive influence, we can show them the way. If necessary, ask them if they would like to continue the conversation another time, but don’t completely dismiss their points. Leadership always comes back to slowing down and listening to learn.

“The best way for us to perhaps influence others is to instead focus on ourselves by doing our best – then others will be influenced from our leadership by example.” – Lisa Kardos

3. Encourage honesty as the best policy

If we find ourselves in conversations in which the other party isn’t listening to learn or slowing down to give full attention to the situation, our ability to be honest about their inattention and cursory decision-making can steer the other person back on track. By being honest, we can bring others back to the present to pursue the common goal. Additionally, being honest will aid immensely in our influence because people trust us to tell them the truth.  

4. Learn to delegate effectively

Managing delegation is a large part of managing and leading teams. It involves a careful selection process in which the delegated task is assigned to the right person for that task. Knowing the right person requires recognizing the one with the skills necessary to complete that task or the one that is ready to grow in learning about that task. If the delegation process is not done mindfully, team members can become disconnected to the common goal. Think about the telephone game we played as kids; if we didn’t communicate the message appropriately to the chosen person, the meaning became muddled or lost.  

5. Create a positive culture

Culture is people. It’s formed by our whole team. For success to be fully realized, the environment must be a positive one in which everyone can do their best work, innovate, and create together. A positive team culture is a by-product of helping everyone slow down, listen to learn, employ honesty, and delegate effectively. But these are only parts of a positive culture. When the environment is stable and everyone can bring their authentic selves to the workplace, the foundation for a positive culture becomes established. We choose what type of culture we work in everyday by the actions we take and the influence we exert on our team.  

It’s true that success has many forms, but if we’re looking to build success that several individuals can revel in, we must understand our influence. As leaders, our most important responsibility is understanding that our influence on others matters, and it’s through our influence that others become inspired to provide their best work, help our clients, add to a positive culture, and much more. Helping our team members to understand how they contribute to team success and giving them a purpose to keep striving will ensure their team success — as well as our own.  

Brian Smith, PhD, is founder and senior managing partner of IA Business Advisors, a management consulting firm that has worked with more than 18,000 CEOs, entrepreneurs, managers and employees worldwide. Together with his daughter, Mary Smith, he has authored his latest book, Individual Advantages: Be the “I” in Team (BookBaby, March 2, 2021). Learn more at

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Success Advice

How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
Image Credit: Midjourney

Pause for a moment and ponder two pandemic-era beliefs: First, closing schools will control the spread of a serious virus. Second, the consequences of such school closures—particularly social interruption and the prevention of immunity—are worse than becoming sick with the virus. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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Success Advice

Here’s a Young Man’s Antidote for the Uncertainty of the Modern World

Why do a lot of young guys lack confidence in today’s world? 



How to boost your confidence
Image Credit: Midjourney

We all have been told that confidence is a key factor in achieving success and happiness in life. But what is it exactly? (more…)

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Success Advice

Toxic Leadership: 5 Ways to Identify a Bad Leader

if you have a leader who displays any of the toxic traits, it’s time to move on to greener pastures.



Toxic leadership
Image Credit: Midjourney

Let’s be honest, we’ve all crossed paths with a toxic leader in our careers at some point. Unfortunately, while some toxic leaders don’t even bother to hide their behaviour, some know very well how to conceal their true selves behind a strong-built facade. The latter is the most dangerous of the two. (more…)

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