Another year is nearly done, so it’s the time to look back and reflect on the amazing adventures, incredible people and inspiring moments we experienced in 2013.

Influence was a running theme throughout this year; from working with organizations and individuals on business strategies, facilitating team building events, speaking at conferences or just meeting people as I made my way through each day. Influence is a powerful force that commands attention. Influencers change people’s ideas, opinions and actions. They redirect the flow of thought, and alter outcomes. They make us take notice.

You don’t even need position or authority to be influential. You just have to be willing to step out there and try something that’s probably a bit scary. That’s exactly what Justin Crisler of Huntsville, Alabama did.

He chose to express his team spirit for the Alabama Crimson Tide on social media, creating the Facebook page, “Can I get a Roll Tide?” featuring a photo of a simple red t-shirt he designed, and expecting nothing more than a few ‘Likes” from fellow Tide fans. His small idea struck a nerve. Months later thousands of Justin’s t-shirts have been shipped around the world to active-duty military and veterans. 

Crisler sells to the public and accepts donations to help pay for the shirts which he provides at no cost to troops through his former Facebook page, now transformed into the non-profit organization, Tide for Troops.  He offers shirts from every team in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and as word spreads more schools are coming onboard every day. 

Tide for Troops

Influencers, like Justin Crisler, shape lives and change perceptions because they’re not looking for a huge payoff. They just want to help others fulfill their purpose.

“Who are we, if not measured by our impact on others? That’s who we are! We’re not who we say we are, we’re not who we want to be – we are the sum of the influence and impact that we have, in our lives, on others.” ~ Carl Sagan

Influence happens when you do your best to be the best at what you do, whatever it is. Find what you love to do and do it like Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel or like Shakespeare wrote literature. Let them put a sign up where you work that says “the best ________________ in the world works here.”

There’s nothing better than that and its where Influence begins.