By Haydee Antezana

Business woman on top of a mountain holding up a flag. 3 Ways to Increase Your Influence and Impact Blog Image

Successful people are not born with a success gene; they develop a scientifically proven secret sauce: the ability to influence and impact with intention. As an executive, you are constantly influencing and impacting those around you. Being aware of how to increase these skills matters greatly in your career.

Follow these three crucial steps to increase your influence and impact as a successful leader in today’s competitive market.

1. Upgrade Brand YOU.

Do a Brand Performance Appraisal.

Whether by design or by default, you have a personal brand. How you are perceived and received by the people you seek to influence and impact matters. 

Imagine everyone you’ve interacted with over the last year had to “review” your personal brand on TripAdvisor or Yelp.

On a scale of 1 to 5, what would your rating be? Would you be offered the position of Head Marketer of brand YOU?

Adaptability = Durability

One of the top reasons organizations and individuals fail is they don’t reinvent and evolve their brand for a changing world. This is a costly mistake for both you and your organization. You certainly don’t want to be the next Toys ‘R Us.

In today’s “distraction” economy, attention is in short supply. Check in to ensure your personal brand is continually evolving. When was the last time you upgraded your brand for impact and reset it for relevance?

Internet marketer Gary Vaynerchuk says, “You need to market yourself in the year you live in.” Are you currently doing this? Fill in your date at the end of each statement. 

  • I updated my LinkedIn profile, photo and banner in ______.
  • I raised my hand for a project outside my area of expertise and comfort zone in ______.
  • I shared insights with my team about future trends in our industry in ______.
  • I spoke on the stage / sat on a panel at an industry event or conference in ______.

If you want to increase your level of influence and impact, you need to consistently evaluate and upgrade your personal brand. 

2. Create Meaningful Connections. 

The quickest way to increase your Networth is to increase your Network. I’ve built three successful businesses on the foundation of this principle. Within a week of moving to Southern California, I joined the Chamber of Commerce, a Business Mastermind Group and spoke at a Gaming Conference. The power of connection is not a “nice to have,” it’s a job skill. Not developing this skill will limit your career path.  

Build Your Circle of Influence. 

Business philosopher and speaker Jim Rohn stated, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” These people have the potential to influence your thoughts, beliefs and behaviors, which will lead to your success or lack thereof.

Write down the names of the five people you currently spend the most time with.  Answer the following questions:

  • Do you aspire to be as successful as they are? 
  • Do they lift you up and celebrate your successes?

These five people are your Circle of Influence. The higher the quality, the more “social” currency you command. Ensure that you invest, reevaluate and nurture it consistently. Success rubs off on you when you are in the energy field of successful people. 

Be a Ninja Networker.

A large number of my clients are in the gaming and hospitality industry – so I meet up with them at NIGA and G2E conferences.

How do you stay top of mind after attending an event? By being different! Don’t just hand out business cards – at the end of the conversation, ask if you can take a selfie with them (use judgment and discretion for this). No one has ever said no to me. If anything, they are flattered. Within 24 hours, text them the photo with a message, “It was great meeting you – enjoyed your valuable insights last night about ______ (be specific). Let’s stay connected.”

Very few people can resist looking at a message with their picture attached and this time, you’re right next to them. Is this more impactful than an email? Does it make you stand out from the crowd? Does it make you memorable? You bet it does!

3. Apply the “Likeable” Factor.

You’ve heard the saying, “People buy from people they like.” It’s been proven that people buy and connect most with people that like them first!

A couple of months ago, my oldest daughter asked her four year old sister, “Who is your favorite person in the house?” I thought she’d say her dad or one of her siblings as they spend 80% of their time together. I was shocked when she said “Mummy.” When asked why, she simply said, “Because she likes me.”

If you are reading this today and don’t particularly like your typical guest, customer or team member, you are in the wrong business and need to move fast before you damage your brand and future career opportunities.


How do you show them you like them? Through the power of reciprocity – be the first to give (this is called Freeplay in gaming).It’s not about what you want from them; it’s about how you can support them first. You can’t make a withdrawal from a bank account when you haven’t made a deposit yet.

  • Show you value them through words.When you show authentic interest in someone, they become more interested in you.If you see a colleague or team member under stress, ask “Is there anything I can do for you?”
  • Through actions. I know of a Casino Resort GM who shows up at 5 am to do a drop with security one day and the following week works side by side with housekeeping to strip beds.
  • Be a resource. If you find a relevant article or social media post – send it to them.

By implementing these three actionable steps, you will begin the process of influencing and impacting others with intention. 

FREE – to download chapter 1-3 of Haydee’s latest book “Packaged For Success” click here.

For 21 years, Haydee Antezana has been a global speaker and program facilitator. She has worked with organizations like Hyatt, Hilton, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer who want to increase their Leaders’ and Teams’ Influence & Impact. Her Power-Packed, High Energy and Engaging Programs are a fit, if your organization needs to: ✦ Elevate the Customer Experience ✦ Boost Growth and Profits ✦ Have a Competitive Advantage ✦ Inspire your Leaders and Team Members to Thrive Personally and Professionally.

For a customized solution to suit your needs click here or email

Visit to see Haydee in action.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital & healthcare, hotels & resorts, travel, tourism & attractions, facilities & concessions, nonprofit, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

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Master the Art of Small Talk

Do you dread participating in small talk during networking events or company functions? Making an effort to improve your small talk skills and refining your business etiquette will assist you in climbing the ladder of success. Stop stressing and start impressing with these tips on how to make your conversations at any event a successful and pleasant experience.

1. Before the event practice in low risk situations; e.g. the line at the supermarket.

2. Do your homework and be prepared – this will help you feel more confident. Contact the event organizer and try to find out who will be attending. Identify specific individuals you would like to meet at the event.

3. When walking around the room – catch the eye of an approachable looking individual. Don’t approach a group of two people – they are probably deep in conversation – you will feel awkward and they will feel uncomfortable.

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While CBD is promoted to ease anxiety and inflammation, people continue to have misconceptions because it’s a chemical compound in cannabis. There is much stipulation to the legality of CBD depending on the composition and origin of the product. It continues to be regulated per state until further clarifications have been made. While some states consider CBD legal, others are unclear or have yet to form an opinion on the matter.

Bristol Associates’ Vice President David Alford recently made four placements in one of the largest vertically integrated hemp producers in the county. We asked David a series of questions to learn more about CBD and its impact on varying industries.

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You’ve just been offered an amazing career opportunity, but it requires a move – now what?

For most, relocation can be a challenging and stressful experience due to the amount of time and resources it takes to undergo such a big change. Packing and unpacking, scheduling moving services, booking flights, breaking leases, buying and selling property, and family situations are just a handful of common hurdles that can be faced during the process. However, all the work and effort it takes to relocate can lead to a brighter future for your personal and professional life.

According to our 18th Annual Casino Executive Satisfaction Survey, 82% of respondents are willing to relocate for the right job opportunity. With so many open to moving, it is important to understand the decision-making and negotiating process for relocation to be as pain free as possible. We asked our executive recruiters to provide their input when it comes to executives relocating for a new job.

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Pictured: Kelly Nelson in a prior Bristol office in 2004

April 17, 2019 – Today marks Senior Vice President Kelly Nelson’s 24th year at Bristol Associates. Kelly joined Bristol in 1995 as an executive recruiter in the Hotels & Resorts industry. He became a key contributor in the development of the Travel/Tourism, Theme Park & Attractions, and Facilities & Concession Services practices that further expanded our Hospitality industry practice to what it is today.

He is a native of the Midwest and a proud alumnus of The University of Iowa as a member of the fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. He is a past and/or current member of numerous professional associations, including AHLA, HSMA, SITE, MPI, USTOA, PATA, ASTA, CLIA, and IAAPA.  Prior to Bristol Associates, Kelly served as Vice President Marketing, Lady Luck Gaming; Sr. Vice President Sales and Marketing at Hawaiian Airlines; and COO of The Carlson Travel Group.

We asked Kelly a series of questions to reflect on his career journey thus far.

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Experience isn’t the only aspect that employers look for when it comes to hiring. Having worked with clients for over 50 years, Bristol understands the complex wants and needs of employers searching to fill a role at their company. It takes the right mix of experience, skill, personality, and fit within company culture for a candidate to land an executive position. Our seasoned recruiters share their insight regarding what employers commonly look for when searching for executive candidates.

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In today’s job market, employers are competing to attract quality candidates into their companies. Because candidates have more opportunities available to them, it is important for employers to understand what they can do to be distinguished as a viable choice of employment.

Bristol recently posted the results to last year’s Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey Results, which received a total of 1,363 respondents. Executives were asked to rank six factors from highest to lowest priorities when it came down to choosing their employers. The six factors include: Career Opportunity and Growth; Compensation (i.e. base, bonus, stock, grants, and options); Corporate Culture (i.e. receiving recognition in job, relationship with co-workers and immediate supervisor, company values); Job Security; Location; and Weather and Lifestyle.

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We are excited to announce the results of the 18th Annual Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey. The survey, conducted in partnership with Spectrum Gaming, received a total of 1,363 responses, which is our highest respondent count to date.

The survey analysis conveys how the attitudes and preferences of casino gaming professionals have changed over the past decade and how they relate to overall market conditions.

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Recruitment Myth - Fact-Myth Teeter

When it comes to recruitment, people tend to have common misconceptions about the process for both candidates and clients alike. As a candidate or client, it’s important to understand the recruitment process in order to ensure that the practice is being utilized effectively.

We asked our executive recruiters to share and debunk recruitment myths they have come across while working in their field.

Recruitment Myth #1: All search firms are the same.

There are different kinds of recruitment firms that focus on specific industries, position levels, and types of work. It is important for candidates and clients alike to research if the search firm is a right fit for their experience and needs, respectively.

Simply put, if a candidate that specializes in the Casino industry tries to submit their resume to a firm that focuses in Healthcare, the chances of the recruiter reaching out to the candidate for career opportunities are slimmer. The same idea applies for a client who is searching for a specific type of candidate that may not be predominant in the search firm’s existing database.

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[Image] People in internal interview process

When a position opens within a company, most organizations consider the option of extending the application to internal and external applicants. The internal interview may appear to be a smooth and easy process for employees who already work for the company, but it still requires the same amount of time and effort as an external interview to succeed.

Tip #1: Act Like an External Applicant

As an existing team member, be prepared to submit an updated resume when applying for the open position. It’s important to respect the internal process as one would for an external process by researching the position, dressing in appropriate interview attire, and preparing for the interview.

Even though you may know the interviewers in the panel, being too lax during the interview may come off as arrogant. Keep in mind that even though you may think you are the most qualified for the position, other internal or external candidates may prove to be a better fit for the role. Not taking the process seriously may decrease the likelihood of attaining the job.

>>> Read: Oops! Common Interview Mistakes Candidates Make

Tip #2: Use Your Knowledge to Your Advantage

Unlike external candidates, internal candidates have the advantage of having an inside perspective by already working for the company. It’s important to refresh your basic knowledge about the company while tying in what you have learned from your first-hand experience working for the organization.

If there are any changes that can be made within the company that can lead to the growth and success of the organization, be sure to address it in a constructive way, using solid examples from work experience. Showing proactivity in consistently improving the company can be a positive way to stand out from the other applicants.

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