The 5 Most Influential People In The World

Do a search for the 5 most influential people in the world and you will not find an exact match. 

You will be given similair articles but with titles such as – 100 most influential of all time, most powerful man in the world 2016, most influential people 2016, 100 most influential 2017, most influential people 2017, most influential people of all time, most powerful people in the world 2017 etc.

So how do you qualify someone as being influential ?

influential peopleWhat do Richard Branson, Jaan Tallinn and the Dalai Lama have in common? They’re all thought-leaders, influential people. People want to listen to them – and follow what they say.

What’s more, they’ve gained influence through the force of their personalities, overcoming barriers along the way.

For example, Richard Branson skipped the usual university-to-work course and launched a string of disruptive models that many wrote off as nuts. The Dalai Lama has spent decades in exile, condemned by the Chinese authorities – yet he’s a household name that celebrated his 80th birthday on stage at Glastonbury music festival alongside rock legend Patti Smith.

So just how do they do it?

The most influential leaders all share the same traits. Qualities that win people over and establish them as respected and much-loved figures in the eyes of their colleagues, collaborators and the wider world.

Want to be more influential as a person? Take a look at these 7 top characteristics of influential people.

They Have VisionDalai Lama

Influential people aren’t just trying to get the job done in the short-term. They have big dreams and ideas of how the world could or should be. Everything they do is a step towards making this vision a reality.

They’re Clear and Consistent

Not only do influential people have a vision, they know how to communicate it. They make sure that their beliefs and aims are reflected in every interaction – and they take pains to avoid contradiction or hypocrisy. Not only does this demonstrate integrity, it helps make sure that their message is reiterated and absorbed, over and over again.

They Listen

“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours,” wrote Dale Carnegie in his bestselling book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Counter-intuitive as it might sound, the best way to get someone on your side is to ask questions about them and really listen to what they say. Try it, it works.

They Keep Their Cool

Losing your temper is never a good look. While it’s great to be passionate, calmly outlining your argument will always make you look stronger. This impacts positively on how people perceive you and whether they listen to what you say.

They Adapt

Influential people understand that while their message is constant, the medium is evolving. They get that you need to adopt new technologies and approaches in order to cope with a changing world and stay relevant and effective.

Jeff BezosThey Put People at Ease

Anyone can cajole others into doing what they want. While it might make you powerful in the short term, it doesn’t make you influential, it makes you a bully – and the thing about bullies is, everyone wants them to fail. By inviting contributions from your team and making colleagues feel happy, inspired and excited, you foster a culture of trust and loyalty that drives the business forward. If anything goes wrong, your team has your back.

They Keep the Conversation Going

Influential people understand that to make a project a success, it needs to stay on track. They’re expert communicators that excel at cutting through the noise and communicating the most vital messages, maintaining regular contact to ensure everyone’s supported and on target. This is what truly makes them a leader.

So who would make the list of 5 most influential people in the world, opinions obviously differ.

The world’s most influential person last year was actually a group of people. Time magazine had six different covers for six different people, and their profiles ranged from Broadway playwright to tech industry superstar. They were men and women of five different races from multiple continents. And this year, the magazine decided to follow the same format — five of the 100 most influential people in the world made a cover. There are another 95 people featured alongside them in the magazine, but this year John Legend, Viola Davis, Jeff Bezos, Melinda Gates, and Riz Ahmed each were featured on a Time Most Influential People of 2017 cover.

Given the nervous buzz around Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, and other world leaders, this comes as a bit of a Donald Trumpsurprise. Nancy Gibbs, the managing editor of Time, explained their choice, though, noting:

” As in years past, this year’s list includes Presidents and Prime Ministers, CEOs and celebrities — but they are joined by others of less fame but great force, in the power of their inventions, the scale of their ambitions, the genius of their solutions to problems that no one before them could solve.”

Having one person grace the top of the list — and hence the cover — used to be the way it was done. Before last year, it was the norm. In 2015, Kanye West was on the cover and the year before, it was Beyoncé. In recent years, the featured personalities have been more from the world of entertainment and culture, but given who has been chosen as Time’s Person of the Year in recent years — Trump, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, and other such political figures — that makes sense.

Vladimir PutinThe list has only been published since 1999, and yet already some celebrities and politicians have been named upwards of 10 times. Former President Barack Obama was named every year since 2007 and once before in 2005, for a total of 11 times. Perhaps unexpectedly to some, but hopefully not most readers, is the runner-up, Hillary Clinton. She was featured on the list 10 times before this year. Oprah Winfrey and German Chancellor Angela Merkel come in next at nine and eight mentions, respectively.

Gibbs acknowledged that this year some of the more controversial politicians on the list are opponents, like Trump and Kim Jong-un:

” In divisive times, it’s tempting to nestle in a comfort zone, surrounded by people who look like us, think like us, pray like us, vote like us. Yet many of the men and women on this year’s list are calling us out, using the technologies that connect us to expand how we see the world.”

Hide picture