yukai chou gamification

How to Be Influential (5 Tips)

How to Be Influential

5 Tips on How to be influential

Not everyone wants to Gamify their lives, but almost everyone wants to be influential and respected within their community.

However, the majority of the people do not become that, mostly because they are so comfortable with their existing social statuses in their groups that they don’t know how to change that.

Here are some guidelines to help you become more influential within your circle. Your circle could mean anything from your small group of friends, your class, your department, or your entire organization.

1. Be Influential by Becoming the Best

This is the most straight forward but most difficult way to become influential. It simply means being the best at whatever your group is doing. In fact, most respectable and influential individuals from a group are the ones that have mastered their skill sets the most, whether it be basketball, sales, programming, Gamification or just video games such as Diablo 3.

The way to do this is simply match talent with hard work and become the best. Nothing fancy. Interestingly enough, a lot of people who become extremely successful later on in life still highly respect their childhood friends who were remarkable in a game they played, even if the childhood friends are not very successful themselves.

One key to note is that the activity you excel at must be shared by all the people in your circle. If you are the best at chess in a chess club, you will be respected as everyone is doing it. But if you are best at sales but your circle does operations and finance, then it wouldn’t have the same effect. Finally, conduct yourself in a manner that minimizes jealously.

2. Be Influential by Becoming Useful

If you don’t have the ability to become the best at what you do (by definition the majority of the people), another way is to become useful. This means that you are always there to help everyone out, and always have the right resources handy when it’s needed.

This is much easier to accomplished because you do not need to be the most talented at something. You just need to be the most prepared and most available out of all. If you are the one that brings something when no one else thought it would come in handy, or you remembered a piece of information that suddenly was needed, people will start to trust you. Eventually, as you are there for everyone and people start to rely on you more and more, you start to gain in respect and influence.

One key to note is that you want to make sure you don’t do it in a manner that suggests people can simply take advantage of you. You want to make sure you maintain a strong core and are only helping because you want to help instead of being trample upon. Learn how to occasionally say no to show you have a backbone.

3. Be Influential by Becoming Audacious

This is something interesting, but people usually respect others who can overcome their own fears. Most fears are not encountered on a regular social basis, but stepping out of the norm, being an uncomformist, and approaching new people in public is something that most people are uncomfortable with.

If you are always taking initiative in contacting people, organizing events/hangouts, talking to strangers on the group’s behalf, you usually earn a lot of respect from the group. It’s a strange social energy that displays that you are confident and know what you are doing. Sometimes this translates to charisma, which can be obtained without really being good at anything else besides being audacious.

Again, how you do this is essential. You need to do this in a very positive and sociable light. Anything else can make you seem weird, obnoxious, or creepy. Just like hitting on girls, there’s only a thin line between being smooth and sleazy.

4. Become Influential by Becoming a Maven

Another way to develop influence in your circle is to be the trusted advisor of this group. This means that even though you might not be the best at what you do, you are the most knowledgeable in the field and have a passion in sharing your knowledge.

To be a maven, you do need to be passionate about the topic and are constantly updated on the latest news and developments on that topic. You need to know a large amount of relevant information, its sources, and how it is comparable to similar things within the topic. Once you have that established, even the top performer will come to you for the best and updated information. Now you are respected like a coach, or Yoda.

5. Become Influential by Becoming a Connector

Finally, the fifth way of becoming more influential in your circle is to become a connector. This is probably the easiest as you don’t need to have any skills of your own, but simply the enjoyment of making new friends and helping them out with your existing friends.

Whenever someone in your circle has a need, you know the friend who can solve the need, and you make a connection. The first helped person now owes you a little favor. You can then use this favor to help someone else, and that someone else also owes you a little favor. As time goes by, everyone will owe you a little favor and you have become very influential as your network grows. People then need to maintain a good relationship with you because you are their window to all the resources out there in the world.

If you have seen the movie, you’ll notice that the Godfather actually is not the best at any skill, he isn’t necessarily “useful” or a maven, he is not more audacious than many others, but he is a connector that everyone needs to depend on. His influence comes from his network and how he is able to leverage that for himself and his friends.

Key to being Influential: Be Remarkable, Provide Value, and Be Proactive.

Everyone has a different style, and not every principle above fits you. If you do all of them, you are bound to be extremely influential in whatever circle you are in (charismatic and confident leader who is the best at what he does, shares tons of knowledge, there when people need him, and connects people to tons of others), but depending on who you are, sometimes you just need to do one and you will become more respected and influential amongst your peers. Most of them are not impossible to accomplish. It just takes a little heart and a little action. Always try to Be Remarkable, Provide Value, and Be Proactive.

It’s time for you to share your ideas or destroy mine. Lets have a dialogue in the comment section below.

Get mentored by Yu-kai Chou

Octalysis Prime Gamification

Every week I hop on a conference call to teach, answer questions, and give feedback to members of Octalysis Prime. If you want to take your Gamification practice to the next level, then come join us.


If you are interested in working with Yu-kai Chou for a business project, workshop, speech or presentation, or licensing deal, please fill out the form below..

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

28 thoughts on “How to Be Influential (5 Tips)”

  1. Being influential means being respected, being respected means, most of anything else being inspiring.
    When you inspire people, it doesn’t matter if you are the expert or you are just reckless, you will move people to change.
    I think some people are born with this, some others learn how to do it with experience and self confidence.

  2. Dear sir,
    I am a 14 year old boy. I am extremely upset with my reputation and influence over people. I am academically great and, this gives me a small respect. But, I have a classmate who is jealous of me because, I have achieved a lot in curricular activities and, I too have a TV show named, “MI FOUR”. Which, isn’t that popular but, I got a chance for that.
    The thing which worries me is that, he is backstabbing me always and I got to know his slanders from friends. He is overly well respected and, can get into a conversation very easily with anyone and has, a very strong Charisma. I lack in these qualities and, I am desperate. Inspite of my achievements, I am not getting the popularity fruit out of it. Please help me, to crush my classmate and be more sociable, and charismatic and very very influential and loved.. I wan’t to crush him completely because, he has caused me, a great pain..

    1. rahulshah2811rahulshah2811 Well, part of being influential, popular, and respected is to be graceful and honorable, so the attitude of wanting to crush someone may not increase in your charisma (of course, there is a system of becoming influential by installing fear in every single person’s mind, but it doesn’t sound like that is the direction you are going.) 
      What I would do is to confront him directly – the audacity I mentioned – first privately and just say, “I want to understand why are you treating me this way? What did I do to you? Is there no better way for us to be on the same team?” Sometimes people respect you if you confront them in their face, letting them know it’s not okay. By the way, never get angry or emotional. Whenever you get angry, you lose your persuasion because people just register that you are angry instead of any of your points.
      If he makes fun of you when you ask him, tell him, “If you keep doing it, I will have to confront you in front of everyone. You know what you do to me and it won’t look good for you.” If he doesn’t care, then make a big deal about how much of an ass he is in front of him and everyone and ask for an apology. Your goal is to get him angry and lash out at you, making him look bad. But again, always be cool and reasonable. Just demand justice.
      Another way to do this is to start building trust from other people and even people who follow him. Treat those people well, be respectable among them (but not arrogant…I feel there is a sense of arrogance in you that may be working against you). Be sincere to them and make them realize that you are a more respectable character that actually cares about them. Eventually, he will realize his friends are all on your side and he is isolated.
      Of course, the last thing to do is to acknowledge this person has bad character, including the people who follow him in his slanderous ways, and just ignore him, not care about that circle, and find a new group with more honorable people with better character. Eventually you’ll realize what these people think in school don’t really matter, as you work hard and become more influential later on in life, they might have crap jobs and eventually you might become their bosses or they’ll beg you for favors. 
      My advice is: don’t look to crush people, but be the best person you can be. Grow yourself and level up. One day, you will be in control of an entire industry when the other person is still playing his petty game.

  3. @Joseph Chicas They surely do 😉 When you are influential, you can do more of the other things too ;-D

  4. @AmyThanks Amy! It’s always nice to have some record the common event of me falling from heaven

  5. @peterThanks Peter! It’s an honor being encouraged by a pastor. May God bless you to bring his glorious work to your country and its people.

  6. @Gaurav GuptaHello Gaurav! I’m sure it is more of an extreme statement when you say you “never” get fine results. Even the best of us fail very often. Life is not about accomplishing everything well, it’s about constantly trying what is meaningful to you and learning from each process. So if you are doing EVERYTHING well, perhaps it means you are not challenging yourself enough into new fields. I think you are fine. Just keep trying and never give up!

  7. Thanks Peter! It’s an honor being encouraged by a pastor. May God bless you to bring his glorious work to your country and its people.

  8. I have been inspired! I noted as a pastor you need the Charisma fromm God and be knowledgable with the word of God . Otherwise its important to be an influence in society.Thanks so much
    Pastor Peter Mugabi
    New Life BAPTIST Church-Kampala

  9. Hello Gaurav! I’m sure it is more of an extreme statement when you say you “never” get fine results. Even the best of us fail very often. Life is not about accomplishing everything well, it’s about constantly trying what is meaningful to you and learning from each process.

    So if you are doing EVERYTHING well, perhaps it means you are not challenging yourself enough into new fields. I think you are fine. Just keep trying and never give up!

  10. Really nice nice nice article, Just wondering how you concise things beautifully. I have experienced a lot of things but I never came up with some fine results 🙁 , may be it is a problem with me or its you greatness 🙂

  11. Enjoyed the post, thanks for sharing. Now my debate is should I try to become Yoda or the Godfather? Hmm…. decisions decisions. I guess it will depend on which circle we’re talking about. Maybe I can be both! 😀

    1. Hahaha, ideally you want to become both. Well, to become the strongest player on your server in this real life game, you want to do all of it 🙂 It’s just not as practical and dependent on your skillsets 😀

    1. Hi Johann!

      Well, we all have different experiences, and I share the things I’ve learned through my experiences. You also have 20+ years of experience that I don’t have, so it’s just whether or not you want to spend time to share it 🙂

      Thanks for continuously being supportive of my blog!

You must engage in the conversation!!