Are You "Important" or Influential?

There is a big difference between being “important” and being influential. The problem is most people seek the wrong one.

So what’s the difference between the two? Actually, there are many.

  • “Important” people draft workers. Influential people engage volunteers.
  • “Important” people seek recognition. Influential people seek results.
  • “Important” people enjoy the spotlight. Influential people prefer backstage.
  • “Important” people focus on their efforts. Influential people focus the efforts of others.
  • “Important” people protect their turf. Influential people seek common ground.
  • “Important” people talk about their intelligence. Influential people listen so they can talk intelligently.
  • “Important” people like to win. Influential people like everyone to win.
  • “Important” people have things done by others. Influential people get things done through others.
  • “Important” people require obedience. Influential people inspire loyalty.
  • “Important” people built monuments. Influential people leave legacies.

FYI, influence has nothing to do with title. In every organization, anyone can be influential: administrative assistant or business owner, front-line worker or mid-level manager, custodian or CEO.

So what do you really want to be, “important” or influential?


If you’d like to become more influential at work, come to the Rockstar Retreat this January at sparkspace. Find our more about this one-of-a-kind retreat for business professionals at


Here you'll find ideas, tips, and techniques to help make your next offsite your best meeting yet.We've learned a lot during the 15,000+ meetings we've hosted, and we never stop learning (and sharing) because meetings and teams are always evolving. Be sure to leave comments and join the conversation!