To be a person of impact first requires the desire to be a person who lives a particular kind of life. A life where a difference is being made that matters beyond just what people think of you. It is not about being impressive or becoming a celebrity. It is about the change that is created through how one speaks, thinks, acts and relates to people.

Here’s a place to begin.



When you speak, speak about what you know from direct experience.

Speak about your own life.

Base your ideas on the research that you have done.

Let your engagement with people guide your awareness.

In those areas where you have opinions, but no direct knowledge, then say so. Make a distinction between what you know authoritatively and what you have learned or heard from others. Rarely speak with absolute certainty. Be open to being wrong. Take every encounter as an opportunity to learn from a different perspective.

To the best you can, take your ego out of the presentation of your opinions. Ego-centrism does not lead to impact. It tends to alienate you from those you wish to impact.

In expressing your opinion, less is more.

I once heard a person described as “never having an unexpressed thought.”

Don’t let this be you. Measure your words carefully. Make them worthy of you and the people to whom you say them.s;e

Speak so that people can hear you and remember what you have said.

Impact is not gained by being the loudest or most talkative voice in the room.

Impact comes from saying words that bring wisdom to a situation and encourage people to find the confidence to act on the impact that they desire to have.



Have a clear purpose for impact that provides the foundation for what you speak.

Speak from a set of core values that are the basis of your purpose. Let them guide your thoughts about situations. Guard your values as great wealth. As you seek to create impact, personal and social challenges will require resilience and steadfastness.

Always have a clear reason for why you believe an idea or take a particular action.

This is a step further from having your values and purpose. This is a description for why you believe a particular way. Being able to speak to your why is often the first step towards the impact you wish to create.

In other words, think for yourself. Don’t be a parrot of someone or some group’s perspective. If you believe what they believe, have your own reasons why.



Personal character matters.

Your reputation always precedes you. Make sure people’s impression of you creates the desire to engage you, first in conversation and then in shared action.

A public persona of influence meant impress people is not the same as being a person of impact.

Influence can be superficial. It presents an image of significance.

Impact, on the other hand, lasts. It is a tangible change that can become a legacy of impact that last long after your life is done.

Character is the integrity of your words and deeds lived out each day. It is a statement of your intentions and purpose. It is principally measured in how you treat people.

Trust is a measure of the character.

Trust a recognition that you are a person of integrity. Trust is a form of honor. It is not a recognition of greatness, but of confidence.

People will trust you because your words and actions are consistent and authentic.

Trust makes the pathway to impact smoother and more certain.


Five Steps to Becoming A Person of Impact

Ultimately, to be a person of impact, you need to follow these five steps.

Think for yourself.

Speak for yourself.

Take Personal Initiative to make a difference that matters.

Begin with small steps of impact, then grow.

Act where your direct relationship to people and situations provides a local impact.

Do these, and you will find that your influence will have a greater impact than what you would have imagined before trying.

As always, if you need help, just ask.

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Dr. Ed Brenegar is a Leader for Leaders working with individuals, their teams, organizations and communities who find themselves at a point of transition. Ed has developed an innovative leadership model called, Circle of Impact, that clarifies what the impact of their life or the work of their organization can be. From this perspective, impact is the change that makes a difference that matters. Ed. for over 30 years, has inspired and equipped people and organizations to practice this fresh understanding of leadership. All leadership begins with personal initiative to create impact that makes a difference that matters. Everyone within an organization or a community can, therefore, practice leadership initiative. In so doing, they turn what were once leadership-starved organizations into leader-rich cultures that make a difference that matters.

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