Choosing people to influence your life is essential. Be cautious as you search, some “experts” or “influencers” are not worthy of the title, or your time.
Sir Isaac Newton famously noted “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” The Bible says in Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Clearly, listening to the advice of wise leaders is important. To put it in another way, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt said “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
It would be foolish, vain, and counterproductive to try and pave a path of excellence on your own. Collaboration can be the essential key to pioneering new solutions and addressing problems in a successful way. Learning from leaders and great thinkers around you will only benefit your own prowess and help you avoid costly mistakes.
So how do you start? You start by finding people worthy of listening to, and listening to them. Attending an executive leadership summit, an industry expert lecture series, or enrolling in a class with a professor that is qualified, are all great ways to benefit from the wisdom of others.
There is cause for caution. In the digital age everyone is trying to establish themself as an “influencer”. They get rewarded and paid for how many views their blog post gains, or how many subscribers their YouTube channel has. These faux-experts have flooded the internet with half-baked theories and recommendations from amateurs that really have no right to call themselves experts in any field, let alone the one they could potentially influence your life with.
How do you then know if a message is worthy of listening to? Check the source, check the source, check the source. If the blog was written by an IT professor who has a PhD in electronics, that is a good source. If it was written by a hobbyist experimenting in his spare time, that is a less credible source.
Keep an open mind that inspiration can come from outside your industry. Attending a buffet of geniuses like an Abundance 360 summit, can expose you to the intelligence of many prominent leaders in tech, and even if they aren’t based in the exact industry you are, their leadership skills and some of their recommendations could be applied to your situation.
If you don’t have the money to attend an executive leadership summit yet, you can become a member, or visit their website and see what guest speakers they have. This is like a one-hit-wonder showing you who you should pay attention to and who you should follow. It is important to learn from the right influences, so you can become a better informed individual, and perhaps an expert yourself someday.