How to Influence: The Ultimate Secret

By Colin Gautrey

influence secret

The only reason it is a secret is that you have probably forgotten it, or it has become lost in the mass of knowledge and skills you have accumulated. It is not profound or clever — it is actually simple and easy to understand.

If you remember it and keep it at the forefront of your mind as you go about your work, you will enjoy far more success. Over time, and with diligence, you will become highly influential and a natural leader. There are several components to this secret and all need to be aligned to make it truly effective for you.

Because its wisdom is scattered in fragments throughout your busy mind, the secret loses power and impact. To gain the ultimate benefit, all you need to do is make it one of your core drivers, values or even your life’s motto.

I could be accused of exaggerating this as the ultimate secret; but if so, guilty as charged. My motive is to bring it to your attention because I am convinced it will help you and those around you. The ultimate secret of influence, I believe is…

Be yourself, and strive to be better, for others.



  • For others. If this is at the heart of your Modus Operandi, people will come to rely upon your pure motive and that you have their best interests at heart. This will make you credible, trustable and easy to follow.
  • To be better. Nobody is the complete article, we can all be better. Working to be better demonstrates humility—you know you are not perfect. It demonstrates honesty, vulnerability and generates respect in equal measure to confidence. All of these things we know to be brilliant components of successful influence. You become a role model and potentially inspirational.
  • Strive: Just ambling along is not enough. There has to be some oomph behind what you are doing. People who are going where other people want to go are likely to be listened to, supported and followed — especially if they are moving fast. Latch on to the right cause for others and your influence will rise and continue to rise as you strive to be better.
  • Be yourself. Nobody likes a fake. Phoney people stick out a mile and are rightly treated with suspicion. Being who you are marks you out as confident and assured. Being yourself for others guards against being abhorrent. If you are not a very nice person, you cut it for others unless those others whom you want to influence are similarly inclined! Doing it for others is predicated on the need for being acceptable. Keeping both in the same mantra ensures you are okay and getting better!

Easier to say than to do ― but I rather like the idea of elevating this to a core value. If you also like it, here are a few questions to challenge you…

  1. How would you rate your performance on each element of the motto?
  2. What did you do yesterday which contravenes the elements?
  3. What did you do which supported each one?
  4. What can you do today/tomorrow to be better?
  5. How can you keep this secret present in your mind?

What do you think of this? Do you have a better idea? What have I missed? I am always interested to hear from you, so get in touch.

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