Influence and Leadership: Value For Your Audience Is The Key

leadership key

When it comes to influence, leadership and creating results there are a lot of paths you can take.  How do you pick the right one?  How do you know how to measure influence?

What does being a truly successful leader really mean?

Great questions I also wondered about; so I called someone who walks the walk every day (and will be speaking at SOBCon this June) – Connie Dieken.   She was voted one of America’s Top 5 Speakers of 2012, 2011 and 2010 by, Connie is one of the nation’s most in-demand thought leaders on executive influence.  That being said; here’s where our amazing conversation recently went…

Before you can talk about influencing other people you have to ask yourself…


Where we spend our time tells us what we value.  The way we spend three of our most important resources unlocks the answer to what we value most.  These three resources are:

  • Time
  • Effort
  • Money

EVERYTHING in life comes down to what you value; it’s the foundation of our days.  It’s important to start by understanding YOUR values.  Quick exercise for success:

Make a list of your top 3 values.  Write them down (or type them out) now.

This will not only help guide your efforts and goals but will also let you know who you should (and shouldn’t) align yourself with personally and professionally.  Once you discover your top 3 values demonstrate and live your values every day.  Don’t make people guess about you; tell them what you’re all about through your actions.

Once you start with yourself it’s time to ask…


Values are not static; it depends on a person’s stage of life personally and professionally.  What you value changes dramatically after having your first child.  What you value at work changes after that promotion of career change.

So how can you discover other peoples’ top values?  Sure, you could ask them.  But according to Connie the best way is to watch what they DO; not just what they SAY.  It’s all about their pattern of action.  I’ve met a lot of people that will say they value giving back and helping other people – but never seem to volunteer or make time to help people that can’t help them.  You’ve probably met people that claim money isn’t important to them but seem to do anything they can to make more.

Discovering other peoples’ values is much easier with social media.  Patterns become more obvious quicker.

Start to notice peoples’ values.  Find the ones that line up with yours.  If you’re selling a product or service find the people who 1) value your product or service NOW and 2) prioritize your product or service high now; this means they’re willing to spend their time, money and efforts with you if you can help them.

Once you discover that it’s time to start…


Once you understand the importance of personal values in relationships it’s time for the rubber to meet the road.  It’s time to start building your ideal network of advisors, customers, and strategic partners.  Doing this successfully is what real influence is all about – ongoing, mutually valuable relationships.

Remember with all the noise out there (online and offline) you have to show them why you’re valuable and important to them.  You don’t engage them; they engage themselves with your mission and message.  They are now in control.  You need to:

  1. CONNECT with what they value/their values
  2. CONVEY that you are offering them value by giving them what they want in the portions they want it in – not what you think they need.
  3. CONVINCE them to do something specific; get them to take action.

Those three steps are the catalyst to creating or reconnecting to a great professional relationship.  This is just the beginning; real relationships aren’t a one-off.  Real relationships are a quick fix.  You need to keep momentum alive and people need to choose to be in a relationship with you.

Who will YOU create a relationship with or reconnect with TODAY?

Connie-Dieken-SOBConConnie is the author and co-author of five books, dedicated to teaching individuals influential leadership, communication and presentation techniques. Her most recent bestselling book, Talk Less, Say More: 3 Habits to Influence Others and Make Things Happen, takes Connie’s knowledge, research and experience coaching high-powered leaders and condenses it into a fast-paced, no-nonsense guide to teach anyone to be an influential communicator with anyone, anywhere.


mark-j-carter-sobcon-headshotAbout The Author: Mark J. Carter is the founder of ONE80; his mission is bringing conversations & storytelling back to business… through mentoring (programs, events & marketing).  He currently serves as Vice President of Communications for the Chicago Area Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI).