435 | How Influence Shapes Character

435 | How Influence Shapes Character

In today’s episode, I want to discuss those other influences that are already at work in our lives, and how influence shapes character.

We talk an awful lot about leadership in-person with our clients and on this podcast, and that’s for good reason. Leadership is a major form of influence in our modern world!

As leaders, we’re interested in helping to shape and impact others in a positive way.

Think about this as a parent. You exert “influence” on your kids, because you want to train them well and prepare them for life; you want them to have a good future. 

But, when you think about it, there are many different kinds of influences in our lives. Some are positive and some, well, maybe aren’t so positive.

P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Feel free to leave a comment on the podcast platform you’re listening from!


435 | How Influence Shapes Character


influence, god, life, negative influences, people, destructive, positive influences, listening, character, decision, effects, talk, fear, gossip, information, negative, spend, pillow, bad, hear


Chris LoCurto


Chris LoCurto  00:00

How the current influences in your life are at work shaping your character, that is up next.


Chris LoCurto  00:17

Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks. Hope you're having a fabulous day, wherever you are. We're having a great day here. Nice, beautiful sunshine outside that is influencing our moods. Yes, that might have something to do with today's show. Because today we are talking about influence. I know that was lame.

Anyways, you've heard me say a ton of times if you are going to be a leader, you have to be an influencer, right? To lead somebody you must influence somebody. Leadership is not about telling people what to do, it is not about dictating to them, it's helping them to get somewhere that they would not normally get to.

So influence is the capacity to have an effect on someone's character, their development or their behavior. So let's put this into practical terms, you probably desire to positively influence those you lead and train, if you don't, you really should come see us we should talk about this. Why?

Well, you likely want to make a lasting impact, you probably want to help them to actually change, right? Not just talk about change, you probably want to grow them, develop them, and prove them, you know, all the things that makes the team member a better team member, obviously, because that's going to benefit the company, it's going to benefit the team, it's going to benefit the bottom line, it'll benefit you.

But leadership isn't the only kind of influence that shapes behavior or character. I know you know that. But on today's episode, we're going to take a look at the other influences that are at work in your life, that are affecting your thoughts, your behavior and your character.

And now, I want to focus on character for a minute because it's so fundamental to who you are as an individual character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to you as an individual. Let me say that again, character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to you, as an individual. So your character gives you distinction and definition. It's what makes you, you. So if you want you to be better.

That's a whole lot of "yous" in here. If you want you to be stronger, if you want you to be different. If you want you to be wiser or whatever, then you need to make sure that you've got the right influences in your life. Now I know that sounds pretty basic, but we're going to hit some things that might help you to see that you may not have the best influences in your life, when we come back how the information you consume today shapes who you are tomorrow.


Chris LoCurto  03:12

Folks, if you've been listening to me for any length of time, then you know the number one issue when it comes to business, when it comes to family, when it comes to friendships, is having a lack of high quality communication. To make sure that you are absolutely winning in every aspect of your life.

It all starts with having great communication, the best way to get that communication is to understand your personality style, and to understand the personality style of the folks that you're spending the most time with, whether it be at work, whether it be at home, the best way to do that is to go to chrislocurto.com/store and get your personality profile and personality profiles for your team to day get it for your family members today.

As you go through that profile, you will begin to see the greatest ways to communicate go to chrislocurto.com/store today. You've heard the old adage that knowledge is power, right? Well, power to do what? Knowledge or let's call it information that we absorb, is power to make better decisions. It's power to solve problems if you have not listened to Episode 429 the art of solving problems. Go listen to that it's powerful, right?

It helps you to improve your life in the lives of others. So here's what I want you to consider. I want you to consider negative influences. If you go all the way back to the Garden of Eden-believers-think of the serpent in the garden. If you go all the way back to the Garden of Eden, there's a pretty darn decent negative influence that's moving around in that garden, influencing Adam and Eve, right? The information that was given to them.

Influence them to make a really stupid decision. Now, it's easy for us in hindsight to look back on that and say, Wow, that was a really bad decision. However, here's what we have to understand. The influence that was twisting words and giving Adam and Eve false information, is the thing that they received that allowed them to make bad decisions. Now, here's one of the things we talk about all the time and Next Level Life.

So this is a little bit of a right turn. But when we do not trust that God has our best interest at heart, we take control of things. The negative influence in the garden convinced Adam and Eve that God did not have their best interest at heart that he was holding out on them. And because they believed they're being held out on, they made a bad decision to go in eat of the fruit that they were not supposed to eat. Right?

So we could talk about that for 17 years. The point that I want you to see is they had the greatest influencer of all times, right? It's God, they had the best influence. However, it didn't take a lot. Now, we don't know the timeframe it took we did, I don't assume as it happened as fast as it reads, I actually think that Satan dripped on them day after day after day, convincing them that God was holding out. Either way, that negative influence changing words is it impacted, influenced bad decision making. So information is in formative, right?

It helps form new thoughts, new ideas, new desires, new goals. Satan's influence indicated a path which allowed them to choose disobedience. So important as we go forward. Our focus here is not to be victims, we're not talking about that you're a victim to the negative influences in your life, you still have the opportunity to choose whatever decision you make, you are a grown adult. And those of you that are not grown adults yet that are listening, be prepared, know this stuff now, you can make great decisions, right?

If you are having negative influences, and it's pointing you in a bad direction, even something against you know, something that is a good influence, then make a decision not to follow it, or make a decision to ask for help. Anything, right? The key is, his influence was pointing to something that they chose to go after.

So that was their choice, allowing that negative influence into their lives and not telling it to stop to go somewhere else stop talking to me, get away from me, is what allowed them, you know, we wouldn't say "it" caused them, it was a choice, their own choice, and allowed them to choose disobedience. So think about the destructive effects that come from things like gossip that comes from lies. Right?

When you look at gossip, and I will tell you, we're all guilty of this. When you look at gossip, you really realize how destructive it is the very first time you see the pain that somebody experiences, because you shared something that you should have, or you said something that you shouldn't have, or you made something up that you shouldn't have, or you lied about something that you shouldn't have, right?

The terrible thing is, is I've literally in my life watched people recognize their destructive effects, through gossip and lies, and not change a single thing. Why? Because their worth was so tied up in it, right? They were trying not to lose worth during that situation.


Chris LoCurto  09:05

Gossip is so destructive. There is a great old story and I'm probably gonna screw it up. But I use it from time to time where a guy comes to a rabbi. And he's, you know, this is not in a bar. There's not multiple people coming into the bar.

This guy goes to this Rabbi and he says to them, "Hey, I did something bad. I just gossiped about so-and-so. And I don't know what to do about it." And the rabbi says, "No problem. Go home and grab a pillow. You have one of those like feather pillows?" "Oh, yeah, totally." "Okay. Just go grab that." He's like, "That's it?" "Yep. Go bring it back to me." He's like, "Okay, easy."

So he gets this pillow and he brings it back and the rabbi says, "Okay, now, rip it open." And it was a really windy day. And so he rips the pillow open feathers go everywhere. And the guys like, "Wow, okay, so it cost me a pillow." And he's like "No, no. Now go put all of those feathers back in the pillow." And he says, "Well, there's no possible way I could do that."

And he goes, "That's right. That's the same thing with gossip. There's no possible way you could ever pull the things that you've said back, they've already had their effect, they've already taken off into the wind, other people are gonna hear it, other people are gonna make decisions based on it." Right?

So think of the destructive effects when you gossip about somebody. You know, for us believers, God says we're not supposed to speak negatively about people period. We all screw that one up, right? We should be holding our tongues, we should be creating peace. And to lie about somebody. Come on, you know, that's creating destructive effects. How about the destructive effects of mainstream media?

The ridiculousness of what's going on in our country right now with this "fact check" concept should just scream at you. How destructive mainstream media is. You know, that people could bring out actual facts in somebody can stamp it false, just by stamping it false. Right? Or people can create facts that are not true. And nobody cares about it. It's just ridiculous. What's happening.

Right, the slants that happen, the subversion that happens, by spreading ideology to try and get people to move in a specific direction. The destructive effects are terrible. I recognized years ago, that I couldn't watch the news. And you've probably heard me say this, I think I've mentioned this, and this year, about how I stopped watching the news during the Bush-Gore election.

I would turn it on in the morning. And on my drive to work, you know, by the time I was done, I get in my car and drive to work. And I would find myself upset. Every single day, I would find myself upset. And I finally just said, that's enough. No more news. And I literally did not watch news until COVID hit. And I think that's the first time I turned it back on and went okay, I think I've got to find some information out.

Because it just, it's destructive. It's not truth being reported. It's information being slanted the way the people-the channel, the news show, whatever it is, wants you to hear the information. That's not actually a positive thing. Think about the destructive effects of doubt. Think about the incredibly destructive effects of fear. You hear me say this: geez, I'm saying a lot of things that I say all the time. But you hear me say, there are two types of fear. If a lion is chasing you, that's a legit fear. Make a decision. Right?

It's okay to be fearful about that. You're about to get eaten. All the other stuff that's not based in something like that, where there is an imminent danger that you can see is going to happen. All the other fear doesn't exist yet. It's all something that you're creating on the possibility whatever that percentage is, and however small that percentage is on something actually happening.

So people will hold up their lives. People will expect, communicate poorly that other people become fearful. I just left a doctor not too long ago that continued to push fear into me. I only saw that doctor once or twice a year. Just for bloodwork anyways, and just the ridiculous fear that this supposedly Christian doctor was trying to pound into me I'm like, I just don't need you.

I'm out. This is ridiculous, right? Fear is incredible faith in God. Fear will keep you from making smart decisions. Fear will keep you from moving. Right? It's destructive. And also the destructive effects of unbelief. If you don't believe that God has your best interests at heart.

That he is a good God, that he's a loving God, that He is a God who will punish his kids for doing wrong he's very clear if you're obedient. They'll give you blessings. If you're disobedient, I'll give you curses, same as any good parent on the planet would do, right? If you don't believe that it has your best interest at heart, then think of how destructive the effects are.

Think of the bad choices that you make. So we talk a lot about stopping those negative influences. If you've not listened to Episode 404: Replacing the Negative Influences in Your Life, go back for that. Go listen to that. We talk a lot about it in root system, that's something that we share a lot of Next Level Life of taking a look at what's been negative, and what do you do about it?

Our goal isn't to say, "Oh, I'm a victim to somebody, therefore they're my villain." No, that's not what we're looking for. What we're talking about is how do we recognize how do we have great perspective so that we can make different choices? So, here's the key.

If we don't replace what we remove from our minds, we're still vulnerable to negativity, right? So even if we look at negative influences, and we can point them out, but we don't put something positive in its place, then what will happen is, is we will allow another potentially negative thing to fill that void, we have got to battle, the negativity or the lies with truth, right?

Replace the negative influences with positive influences. Now, I will tell you that I believe the number one influence you need in your life is the king of the universe, the one who created you, the one who owns you, you may not understand that yet, keep digging, he owns you.

He owns your destiny, he owns everything that's going to happen, right? Because He created you, you belong to him, You are not a creator, only He is. So I believe the best, most positive influence is God. I believe studying His word is incredibly powerful for you and incredibly positive.

And by that what I mean is remove a lot of the doctrine you've probably been taught through the years, get doctrine away from God's word, and start reading through God's Word in what He's saying, this is about God, it's not about us. It's about him. Right? It's history that is his story.

It's about him, teaching us how to make right decisions, how to make good decisions. So as you go through His Word, seek what he's trying to communicate to us. But on top of that, here's one of the most important things you can ever do, seeing what your worth is to Him. See what He thinks your worth is not what man does.

Man's version of your worth is a lot of times, worthless. So it's pointless. Don't do it. Spend time seeing what He says your worth is. And I will tell you, you will probably be shocked. Start at the beginning. Go through it. I would also say if you've never read through a chronological Bible, which puts the Bible in chronological order, do it.

I'm a very visual person. And that is something that has helped me immensely is to see the order. I love it because I get to watch it like a movie. Right? Now I've been through the Bible many a time, but in chronological order, it's actually like watching a movie, I'm walking with them in my mind. I'm there with them.

I'm experiencing it in order, which is super powerful. So number two is talk to Him in prayer. Now, we do a lot of teaching on hey, prayer is not about the people around you. It is not about what people hear. It is not about the judgment of others. You are speaking to your True Father, you're speaking to your true creator.

You're speaking to the one who owns you and loves you well more than anybody else. How do you do that? It is not about $9 words and fluffy stuff, right? Talk to Him as you would want to be talked to by your child. Spend time understanding that He wants you to talk with him that He wants you to reach out to him.

You will probably start off with a whole lot of selfish stuff. That's alright. I always tell people try the five five and five. You know, if you're just starting out, spend five minutes praising him for everything you can think of everything. I don't care how small it is, people go, "Well, God doesn't care about-" Yes, he does.

He cares about everything in your life. He created you for a purpose. He created you for his will. He loves you. He knows you. He wants you to talk to him, right? Praise Him for everything you can think of. Then spend five minutes praying about other people. Yep, we don't put you in there yet. Pray for other people.

And then spend five minutes praying for you, asking God for things for you in your life, what you will find is, over the years, all of that stuff will shift more and more and more to God's will. The things that I pray about for me, overwhelmingly are more about, I want your will in your purposes in my life, than, Hey, can you help me out with I sure could use a great wave runner out. I don't know, that's lame. I just made that up on the fly.

So spend time in prayer number three, listening to others. And here's the important piece, listening to others who obey God. Now listen to me. A lot of us come from horrible teaching. And a lot of us come from bad teaching that says, "God wiped away everything. He gave everybody great instructions on how to live their life.

And then for some strange reasons that it was really bad. And so he took it all the way." That is not God who did that. That is a pagan Emperor from 300 ad. So listen, Constantine, if you don't know that, listen, God wants you to obey Him in the things that he's telling you to do, because they're good for you.

He wants you to not do the things he's telling you not to do, because it's good for you. And the more you will obey Him, the more He will reveal Himself to you. If you've not had a lot of revelation from God, check your obedience meter.


Chris LoCurto  22:16

I don't know where you get one of those maybe at Home Depot, check in see how much you're being obedient to God, I can tell you when I became more obedient to God, and by this, what I'm saying is, and by the way, following his law does not get you salvation, salvation is through faith. So don't tie that in there.

When you are saved, when you recognize what he's done, for you should desire to do the things that he asked you to do, you should desire to not do the things he tells you not to do. It's plain and simple. Let's go back to the parenting role. If you are a good parent, do you not want your kids to do the things you tell him to do?

If you tell them to brush their teeth, they should brush their teeth. Now some of you are thinking, "Yes, their teeth rotting out of the head." No, that's going to cost you a lot more money. Right? So put a consequence in there. Do so if you choose this, then you're choosing this consequence.

Guess what, it's the same thing that God does with us. If you choose to be obedient, I will bless you. Keep brushing your teeth, you will get a blessing. Stop brushing your teeth, you will get a curse, you'll get a punishment. And there's going to be something that you're going to receive that's going to try and convince you that my way is better than your way. So follow people who obey God.

The person who says that they are a Christ follower, but does not follow the things the Christ tells them to do. That means they are not truly a Christ follower. Think about that. Because it may be you. If you are convincing yourself that you are a follower of Jesus. But you aren't actually doing the things he tells you to do, and not in not doing the things he tells you not to do. That makes you not a follower.

Who's the most positive influence you can have? God. So follow people listen to people who are following God. Right? The more that you find them, don't go find the person who tells you the thing that you want to hear. Don't go find the person who is bending things out of the Bible, don't go find the person who is absolutely going against what God's word says, find the person who's actually obeying, put that person in your life.

So as we go through these positive influences, I want you to think about that old saying, garbage in, garbage out. It is true in our inner lives, our hearts and our minds. If you're putting garbage in, if you're putting negative influences in, if you are spending time on social media like crazy if you're constantly flipping your screen on a Social media app if you're constantly listening to people complain, if you're constantly listening to negative stuff, if you're constantly looking at people who are twisting information, fill in the blank.

If it's garbage, get rid of it. If you're constantly listening to music, that's garbage, get rid of it. Because at the end of the day, garbage in, garbage out. So our society is a consumption society. We are consumers, that's what we do, we consume resources. We consume time and energy we consume information, right?

So if you think about it, when you think of the word consumer, what do you think about somebody who's purchasing things, somebody who's going to stores, somebody who's consuming a product, right? Well, think about information. How much do you consume information? Well you do it all day long.

What's the percentage of it that's positive versus the percentage that's negative, right? So consider this, what you feed on you become, you are what you eat, right? Whatever you're putting in, whatever you're feeding on, that becomes you. So think about the information you're consuming.

Because this is what's influencing your character. If you're spending time with podcasts and TV, are they positive? What shows are you listening to? Obviously, you're listening to this show right now you're making such a phenomenal decision. I'm just telling you right now. What books are you reading? What blogs are you reading? What ideas of people are you reading? What thought leaders are you following?


Chris LoCurto  26:47

If you're following thought leaders, listen, ladies, let me speak to you for a moment. There are some crappy thought leaders out there in the women's world right now, that are telling women go to the top of the mountain and scream who you are, that you carry the weight of the world, and you need to take care of you.

And it's all about you, you, you, you you and it is this insanely self-promoting selfish message. And they're doing really well because they're relating to people. When you break the message apart, the meat of the message is selfishness. That is not God's message right? And so it's not just women.

But it's mainly there's a whole lot of thought leaders that have hit the scene that have been blown up like crazy, because they're preaching selfishness, and a lot of people are just eating it up, right? Pay attention to that. If they're telling you that it's all about you, it's you, you, you, you, get away from that as fast as you possibly can.

Because guess what your character is going to be? Selfishness. So your characters being formed out of all of these pieces that you're putting into. Now, when we come back, a personal assessment of the influences you're allowing to shape you.



Freedom, it's so powerful.



I felt rejuvenated, almost renewed,



I just felt so welcomed and loved and accepted for who I am, and not an ounce of judgment. So I was very comfortable there that had a really big impact on me.



It's going to be worth it. It's going to be hard. But it's going to be even better on the other side.



For me, it was very refreshing. And I'm gonna say life giving, for me, it really was.



You know, I would go to Next Level Life again and probably again, and probably again, because it's so powerful.


Chris LoCurto  28:48

I want you to ask yourself a question. Could you hear the sense of hope and freedom in their voices just then? I want you to know, that could be you. Look, it's easy to get trapped in old habits, negative thought patterns, and unhealthy relationships. It's gonna take some work. But yes, there is hope for you. If you want to experience the same kind of life transformation, the same kind of self-awareness and freedom that they have, or maybe you're just curious what the process would look like for you, then head on over to chrislocurto.comnextlevellife.


Chris LoCurto  29:26

So who's speaking into your life right now? Who is feeding new information or in essence, influence the people we allow to influence us will absolutely change our character. Now, they won't change it, but by the fact that we are allowing them to influence us will affect our character. So let me ask you this.

Who have you empowered to influence your life? When you turn on the radio who are you listening to, what are you listening to? When you pick up your phone goodness gracious for those people that are addicted to their phones, boy, it is incredible how much people cannot stop grabbing their phone and looking at something right? When you do, what's on it? When you read, what are you reading?

When you're thinking, What are you thinking? So I am a big proponent of Zig Ziegler's Wheel of Life model, we use it a ton here, we make a slight adjustment, just barely. But we've used it for many, many, many years. And the reason why is because it does a great job of pointing out seven major areas in your life that you should be focusing on. That you should be setting goals to, that you should be seeing what's positive, what's negative, you know, all that you should have mission statements on, right?

Purposes for, right? So that's a big thing that we use around here a lot. as I read through these areas of life, consider what's influencing you right now in them, who are what is in forming you, information, informing, influencing you, on your decisions, your problem solving your improvements. So the first one is, Spiritual, now we would switch that to God and say the God relationship, who is influencing you on that?

Who's speaking into your life, there. Family, who is speaking into your life influencing you in a positive way on what your family should look like? There is a ton of negative guilting controlling manipulative crap out there on what you should be doing about your family. Are you avoiding it?

Or are you allowing it to be something that affects your worth when it comes to your family? Do you have a mission statement of what you want your family to be? You know what you want it to look like? Right? How about your career? Who's speaking to you into your life or influencing you about your career, your finances, your physical being? You intellectually, your feelings, thoughts, intellect, emotions?

And what about your social life? Right, who's speaking into those areas? So I want to wrap up with this quote by Epictetus, who was a slave turned philosopher. In ancient Greece, you become what you give your attention to, if you yourself, don't choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will, and their motives may not be the highest." Let that sink in, because that really sums up the show.

That sums up what we're talking about here. Right? In other words, the information, the information you consume is part of your character formation process. So you can download the will of life, the infographic as a tool for your personal assessment process, and I hope that you'll use it to discover what changes you want to make.

Now the link is in our show notes. But you can also go to chrislocurto.com/zigziglar wheel of life, and you can get that there. But as always, we're hoping that you take this information and you do something with it right now. Choose what influences you.

Change the negative influences in your life. If you're going from this show to something negative, stop. If you're going from this show on to something that's not positive for you, not good for you stop. Get rid of it, right? Come and listen to another episode of our show.

Put something in place that is positive for you. Change the information change how you form your character by allowing in positive influences. Well, folks, hopefully this has helped you today. As always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.


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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.