Influencing people is far less challenging when you can see things from their perspective.
Empathy, of course, is a magical human feature that helps us to connect with others to feel and share their emotions. This is a true gift. Imagine living in a world without it?
Along with empathy, there’s another potent quality that influential people possess. I’m talking about, fighting for a worthy cause. Some of history’s greatest leaders and innovators believed in a cause with such a passion and conviction, they even died fighting for it.
This fight is innate and lurks deep inside us all. To deny the fight is to deny the essence of the human spirit. Not to kill and harm, but to stand up, shout, be heard and defend what you truly believe in. Only a minority of courageous people are prepared to fight, but to paraphrase the late great Steve Jobs, the ones who do, will…“make a dent in the universe.”
Paul Watson is making a monumental dent. The Canadian environmental activist is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He and his crew dance with danger to traverse the earth’s seas on a mission to rid the world of ruthless whale hunters. Sea Shepherd has been the most aggressive and successful whale-saving organisation in the world.
The Captain’s story began with a chance encounter with a wounded sperm whale. Staring into the whale’s eyes only moments from its death, he felt a deep pain (empathy) and this experience has inspired and driven him to be one of the most zealous defenders of whales in history. Today, decades on, Paul is fighting as fierce as ever to save these beautiful mammoths of the sea. Read more of his story and the cause he fights for at: www.seashepherd.org
In stark contrast to the early days, though still controversial, Paul now has some of the world’s most influential people behind him, helping to fund his missions with the latest technology and marine resources. He is a testament to when you commit to a worthy cause and you truly believe in it for long enough, the act of fighting for it sells it to others.
Trent Leyshan is a regular blogger for SmartCompany. His book, Outlaw: Fight for your customers and sell without fear, is published by Wiley Australia.