The difference between the person you are today and the person you are tomorrow will be determined by who influences you in the next 24 hours. Life situations obviously have an impact on our lives but the way we think, the way we view these situations are a result of who influences our minds.
I have a question for you: Who do you allow to influence you?
It wouldn't hurt for you to stop and make a list of people you allow to influence your thinking. Evaluate the lives of those people and you will find the direction your life is headed. If you are influenced by people who's main goal is to be comfortable then you are striving to have a life that is comfortable. If you are influenced by people who's main goal is to have stuff, you'll find yourself stressed about your finances most of your day. If you're influenced by people with a entrepreneurial spirit, than you will begin to think like an entrepreneur.
I was 20 years old when I was thrown into my first leadership situation where I had led a team of people. What in the hell would I know at 20 about leading people? I didn't know as much as I thought I did. And then at 24 I would move into larger role leading not one team, but leading 12 teams. I knew I was in way over my head. And then one book changed the way I thought about everything. I read John Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and my mind was blown.
"You mean to tell me someone's done this before and has written a book to help me lead better?"
Honestly, that was my thought as I read the book in about 48 hours. I took notes in the margin. I even had my copy signed by the man himself in 2004. And this is where I realized if I allowed the right people to influence me it would have a direct impact on how I viewed my life and leadership. Again, who are you allowing to influence you?
Today, we have more access to the right people than we ever had before. Reading is still a staple for me but now I do it on a iPad in the Kindle App. But a new technology that has really shaped me in the last two years is podcasts. Listening to podcasts is absolutely something all leaders should do. In the car, doing dishes, working in my garage, and mowing the lawn are the most likely situations to find me listening to a podcast. Plus, we now have online webinars, online Master Mind groups like Michael Hyatt's Platform U, and Twitter Chats.
So let me introduce you to my top influencers, you might find one you really enjoy!
- Seth Godin - My spirit longs to live outside the box and Seth speaks to me spirit. Many have read Tribes but if you really want the best of Godin, check out his book Linchpin. It still bothers me to this day, in a good way of course.
- John C. Maxwell - Because of my experience I recommend every young leader to immediately read 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. It's a book I still crack open when I need help in certain situations.
- John Ortberg - I first found out about John when I visited Willow Creek in 2002. John has the ability to talk about Jesus in a way that's simple and encouraging. In other words, he's a very gifted communicator. One of my favorite books of the last five years is The Me I Want to Be.
- Malcom Gladwell - Ever since I read Tipping Point I have fallen in love with Gladwell's style of story telling twisted with data. I'm always encouraged and my mind is provoked to think differently about the average things we see and experience. His new book David and Goliath has been my favorite read this year.
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast - Pat Flynn for President! When it comes to having an entrepreneurial spirit, Pat is the King...or President. Pat inspires me weekly to think about ways to build a business and make revenue from passive income. He is one of the key shapers of The Factory Media Network and where we are headed.
- The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast - Again I'm drawn to anyone who can express ideas and leadership principles clearly. I eagerly wait each month for the new episode of this podcast to drop. If you lead people, do yourself a favor and listen to this podcast.
- The 48 Days Podcast - Dan Miller was the first person I listened too talk about passive income and thinking outside the box when it comes to employment. This weekly show is so good! In the summer Dan is my lawn mowing podcast because he posts a new show weekly! It's been a great habit for me but not so great for my lawn. He gets the idea juices flowing and lose track of my straight lines. Sorry neighbors, blame Dan.
- The EntreLeader Podcast - Dave Ramsey's team produces an excellent podcast on the topic of leadership. I'm in non-profit work and it still encourages and directs me. Many of the great books I read I hear about here first. AND I highly recommend if you get the chance to attend the One Day EntreLeader event in your town, do it! It's some of the best training I've ever been to!
- The Chris LoCurto Podcast - If you know Chris' story he was the host of the EntreLeader Podcast for a couple of years as he worked as a VP in Dave Ramsey's place. He moved on to pursue a dream of his and I started to miss his voice. He's a natural in podcasting and his own is a great one to listen to. I would define Chris as an "Encourager," so if that's what you need make sure you subscribe to his podcast.
Let it be known that I am not an affiliate for any of these recommendations (Thanks a lot Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for protecting old fashion business models and creating legislation that restrict Amazon affiliates in the State of Missouri...sorry, grinding an ax). Anyway, these influencers push me past barriers like Governors and my own mind! Who influences you will impact how you act tomorrow. So again I ask you, "Who's influencing you today?" My hope is that you find someone here to influence you and encourage you!
If you have recommendations for others please leave them below in the comment section. I'm always looking for new good books or podcasts to listen to! Please add them below!