You’re Kind of a Big Deal: Ten Ways to Make Sure Everybody Knows it!

Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy: USA Today

Everyone is talking today about influence — how to get it, grow it, keep it, and take it away from others — like a game of influence keep-a-way that your older brothers played when they weren’t giving you wedgies. So to help with this process, here’s my Top Ten list for “crushing” the influence game:

1.Command respect by acting self-important. Invoke the “Ron Burgundy” rule of influence by reminding people all the time that “you’re kind of a big deal.” If you act important, you’ll be important.

2. Talk about yourself — all the time. Don’t talk about how you can be of service. Go get your piece of the finite pie — even if you take it out of others’ mouths. It’s way better that way.

3. Use jargon. It’s non-committal and ballsy. When others are being clear and zigging; you zag. By being unclear, you scream “middle management material” to the world. Because that’s the delicious center in an influence micro-marketing oreo moment (don’t capitalize the brand name — it only feeds the brand’s power. This is about you).

4. Use form emails. Swap out names for every influencer you reach out to in order to network with. And, be sure to wear people down with your outreach. Send tons of emails and unsolicited social media notifications. Influence is a matter of quantity. If they figure it out, just type “LOL.” Better yet — use a smiley face. It’s perfume on a passive-aggressive turd. Say something not so great? No problem: put a smiley face after that (ex: You’re a jerkface with no talent;-)). That neutralizes everything and they’re really not sure if you’re funny. This creates intrigue.

5. Always ask for something back. Don’t give away tons of value. Helping people isn’t your motivation — it’s grabbing mindshare at all costs.

6. Don’t go deep. Be all things to all people. Then, to some people, you might say something. You’re too important for “focus.”

7. Don’t be super-passionate. Be an emotionless hammer spewing random “facts of violence.”

Wear Them Down!

8. Don’t be human. Never show vulnerability or weakness.

9. Don’t network with others. Make them come to you. And when people approach you to connect, make them jump through hoops because you are a busy person. Cancel on them at least twice, so they’ll feel lucky you gave them “the time of day,” whatever time that is.

10. Don’t be consistent. Part of being an influencer is having the luxury to do whatever whenever you want.

I love parody and, of course, building influence means doing the opposite of each of these. Help others grow, learn, and increase their influence. And influence isn’t about hogging a microphone; it’s about creating a community where people connect with each other and have growth opportunities, too. If you’re looking down at others, it should be to pull them up (no loogies)!


I am a comedian, speaker/author (“Stop Boring Me!”- now on Amazon) and storyteller. I help organizations have idea orgasms (workshop at SXSW 2017) and get rid of jargon-monoxide and boring in storytelling and content using improv. Fan of good nonsense in the name of creativity. And sometimes I like to write serious and reflective posts. My 8-yr-old thinks I am hilarious. I know that window is closing soon. My company is

Follow Kathy on Twitter. Kathy speaks frequently on humor, improvisation, and organizational storytelling.



Author, speaker, comedian. I turn teams into thriving idea-driven startups who lead in the moment with humor and improvisation. CEO, MA, MBA

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Kathy Klotz-Guest

Author, speaker, comedian. I turn teams into thriving idea-driven startups who lead in the moment with humor and improvisation. CEO, MA, MBA