The Most Powerful Tool We Have Is Influence—Here’s How to Wield It

“Hell isn’t a place, it’s other people,” is a quote loosely translated from French philosopher Jean-Paul Satre’s one-act play No Exit. Keynote speaker Todd Davis got a chuckle from the SUCCESS Live Long Beach crowd when he asked if anyone could relate to this quote. The response of the crowd stems from the fact that we’re often measured by the results we get, but our results rely on other people—“People who won’t do, or change, or behave the way we want them to,” said Davis.

 Davis, who is the chief people officer for FranklinCovey and author of Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work, says 30 years of coaching the world’s most successful leaders about legendary author Stephen R. Covey’s development principles has taught him this: Change stems from influence, and influence comes from successful relationships with others. Because we get results through others, the most powerful tool we have is the ability to influence—starting with ourselves before learning to influence others. “Meaningful change starts with us,” he said.

“The most effective successful influential people look in the mirror every day to ask themselves, ‘What do I need to do differently today?’” —Todd Davis

This article was published in October 2017 and has been updated. Photo by Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

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