Big Picture

FIST Factor – The 5-Key Influencers on WHO You ARE & Will Always Be!

Each year, individuals spend countless hours and billions of dollars seeking greater success. So, why do some attain high levels of accomplishment while others never seem to get ahead?

Every person has the same DNA for success or failure in today’s global opportunity. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail is whether one assumes ownership of the “5-Critical Influencers on WHO You ARE and Always Will Be” or excuses them away.

For more than three decades, I have worked on the frontline of performance execution and achievement – from global superstars to the person I see in the mirror daily. From serial Entrepreneurs and Military Generals to Solo-Business Operators, Fortune 100 leaders to Olympic Athletes, Musicians, and Celebrities to Best-Selling Authors, and World Leaders – the answer is always the same.

It does not matter where you come from, what your roots reveal, or where you are going. The “5-Critical Influencers on WHO You ARE and Always Will Be” never change. What does change is how you assume ownership of each, manage them and elevate them regularly. These are the mental and physical influencers to every experience you have or ever will have, the source(s) of all education and influence, fact or rhetoric, logic or revisionist history, and emotion stimulation orbiting within you now, past tense and in your future.

Remember the adage –

garbage in, garbage out!

From birth until our last moments on this earth, I call this imprinting your FIST FACTOR™, the “5-Critical Influencers on WHO You ARE and Always Will Be”.  

You are the sum whole of every person in your life and their impact upon you.

I’m going to walk you through an exercise I’ve used with my clients for decades across the world. Flex your hand open, palm up. You have five fingers, now stop and reflect, who are those people from who you:

  • Seek mental solace
  • Seek mental guidance and advice
  • Are influenced as to how you think, feel, believe and operate

As you visualize a person, add that to one of your fingers and keep the countdown going. Take a minute to reflect and assign one name per finger. This is your FIST FACTOR.

Now, take your fist and slam it into the palm of your opposite hand. Do you feel that power and energy? This is where an individuals’ power, strength, energy, self-confidence, beliefs (or lack thereof) come from. This is how you take ownership to make immediate and sustained changes in how you think, feel and behave. This is where you can influence those around you to greatness. Inventory who you have in your head now that shapes your psychology and pathology, and then take ownership of their role in your life.

There are “5-Critical Influencers on WHO You ARE, and Always Will Be,” and each one has met a differing side of your personality and character, so let’s identify each and understand who they are:

  1. FAMILY – you don’t get to select your FAMILY, but your family is the earliest and potentially most long-lasting influencer. Consider your hand inventory from above, were there any FAMILY names that you assigned to a finger or fingers? Do they elevate your game or derail your abilities? Do you embrace them or allow them to hold you back? Are you holding onto toxicity, and do YOU need to let go (if not physically, then at least mentally let go)?
  2. FRIENDS – you get to select your FRIENDS, and they too can serve as early and potentially long-lasting influencer groups. Consider your hand inventory from above; were there any FRIEND names you assigned to a finger or fingers? Do they elevate your game or derail your abilities? Do you embrace them or allow them to hold you back? Are you holding onto toxicity, and do YOU need to let go?
  3. PROFESSION – you get to select your PROFESSIONAL key stakeholders, allowing them into your head as early and potentially long-lasting influencer groups. Consider your hand inventory from above; were there any PROFESSIONAL names that you assigned to a finger or fingers? Do they elevate your game or derail your abilities? Do you embrace them or allow them to hold you back? Are you holding onto toxicity, and do YOU need to let go?
  4. SUCCESS – you get to select the SUCCESS key stakeholders you allow into your head. The SUCCESS category is that individual you personally know that provides you with meaningful insights and KPIs to replicate and attain accelerated achievement and success in your own trajectories. Consider your hand inventory from above; were there any SUCCESS names that you assigned to a finger or fingers? Do they elevate your game or derail your abilities? Do you embrace them or allow them to hold you back? Are you holding onto toxicity, and do YOU need to let go?
  5. UNDER-DOG – you get to select the UNDER-DOG key stakeholders you allow into your head. The UNDER-DOG is someone you know who finds a way to prevail over adversity instead of complaining and blaming. We can learn from their mindsets and behaviors how specific KPIs for success look. We can model their greatness and be motivated and inspired through them. Consider your hand inventory from above; were there any UNDER-DOG names that you assigned to a finger or fingers? Do they elevate your game or derail your abilities? Do you embrace them or allow them to hold you back? Are you holding onto toxicity, and do YOU need to let go? Many serial success individuals will say this fifth FIST FACTOR influencer is the most powerful for the body armor one needs to sustain life success!

When it comes to allowing people into your life, consider your future associations strategically through a mental and physical health perspective. They will be key influencers on who you are and will become, so choose wisely.

How many people did you initially inventory in your FIST Factor? Are there multiple names in any one influence category? Only you can determine if that number is acceptable, too many or not enough. Do you have any influence category empty of names? If so, you are out-of-balance with the “5-Critical Influencers on WHO You ARE and Always Will Be”. While there may not be an exact or correct number of names you want in any one influence category, you do want to ensure you have power names in each influence category for balance-of-perspective and better accountability partners.

Now, let’s dramatically elevate this FIST FACTOR concept. Think of these five people categories as key influencers, and let’s adjust the name from FIST FACTOR to Board-of-Directors or your Advisory Board. You need representation in each influence category to have a balanced and accountable internal dialogue or outward discussion on any factor in life, to elevate your game and ensure you’re not being influenced disproportionately in an ill-advised direction.

Every aspect of your life has been shaped, influenced, and guided by one or more of these five influencer groups. How you engage them in your future will reinforce your beliefs and actions or challenge them accordingly.

To achieve balance within your FIST Factor (aka Board-of-Directors or Advisory Board), first, ensure you have representation in each of the five influencer categories. Your consciousness, unconscious bias or not, objectivity and desire for critical analysis capabilities and not just self-validation will be directly influenced by the diversity and balance of viable “legitimate” influencers!

Elevate your life trajectory, as I call it, in my best-selling book, Your Trajectory Code (www.JeffreyMagee.com). For any next level goal you have, reflect upon your FIST Factor, and will they get you where you want to go? If so, leverage them and their imprints on your psychology. If you need to expand your five critical influence categories with new people, expand your network.

An engaged FIST Factor of individualists, with multiple occupants in each influence category, empowers you to stand soundly in making decisions and forging future-focused actions.

Want to create meaningful change? Consider who you allow to provide input, influence, and healthy challenge. Everyone has an agenda, so determine whether an influencer’s agenda is serving you or working against you.

If you had an unhealthy member of your Board of Directors, you would fire them. It’s time to unleash yourself from those who no longer provide value to you and replace them with conscious contributors to your life!

So, where are you? Where is your organization? We all have the same “5-Critical Influencers on WHO You ARE and Always Will Be.” The only difference is whether you take control or surrender your FIST FACTOR and who you can become!


Written by Dr. Jeffrey Magee.

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Dr. Jeffrey Magee
C-Suite and Military General clients come to Dr. Jeffrey Magee for ENTERPRISE-WIDE Talent Development & Human Capital succession architecture. The need today to collapse down years/months/weeks into days is critical! Sustainable Solutions NOW. Jeffrey Magee, PhD/CBE/CMC/CSP/PDM is the “Thought Leaders Leader.” Jeffrey is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Professional Performance Magazine, editor of the LEADERSHIP MASTERY and SALES MASTERY blogs, a former nationally syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, as well as a publisher author of 31 books, translated into 21-languages, to include 4-Best Sellers (YOUR TRAJECTORY CODE/WILEY)) and 4 graduate management text books (THE MANAGERIAL-LEADERSHIP BIBLE/PEARSON EDUCATION). He is a leadership columnist, and highly sought global professional speaker on performance psychology.

The recipient of the United States Junior Chamber’s TEN OUTSTANDING YOUNG AMERICANS (TOYA) Award, and the United States National GUARD’s Total Team VICTORY Medal for civilian contribution to the Armed Services. Massive hyper GROWTH & PROFITABILITY is the resume of 100% of our 2020 clients - Business Growth & Leadership Development: Working with Organizations at the C-Suite level to protect & leverage their most valuable asset - their PEOPLE!


Dr. Jeffrey Magee is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow him on LinkedIn. For more information, visit the author’s website.