All posts in: Career Advice

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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Back of moving truck filled with boxes for relocation.

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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[Image] Magnifying glass hovering over candidate resumes (What Do Employers Look For in Executive Candidates?)

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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[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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On October 10, 2018, Bristol’s President Benjamin Farber moderated the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) panel, Taking Charge of Your Career to Achieve Your Preferred Future. Joining Ben on the panel were Bellagio’s Human Resources Director Brenda Dysinger and Affinity Gaming’s Director of Human Resources Greg Kite. The three executives discussed two major areas of development to provide professionals with the necessary tools to prepare for their future: Effective Networking and Nailing the Interview Process.

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Letter of Recommendation [Image]

A strong letter of recommendation can distinguish a candidate’s application from the rest. Taking the time to obtain a letter of recommendation will leave a positive impact with the employer or recruiter reviewing the application. On the other hand, writing a letter of recommendation is a great way to pay it forward and contribute to the success of the candidate’s career.

Whether you are the candidate requesting the letter, or the employer responsible for writing the recommendation, it is essential to understand how to write a letter of recommendation that will leave a lasting impression.

What makes a compelling letter of recommendation?

Here are some helpful guidelines to write a strong letter of recommendation:

  • Print the letter on company letterhead
  • Personalization and sincerity is key – avoid using letter of recommendation templates
  • Explain the professional relationship and the duration spent working with the candidate
  • Give specific examples of the value and impact that the candidate has made in the company
  • Highlight the candidate’s hard and soft skills that greatly benefitted the company
  • When signing off the letter, include a handwritten signature along with the employer’s typed name, job title, and contact information
  • Proofread to avoid typos or grammatical errors

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[Image] Master the Art of the Follow Up

Candidates can get anxious when they have to wait for the status of a job that they really want. As ideal as it would be to receive an immediate response from the recruiter or hiring manager, it is not always feasible, and response time may depend on the amount of applicants applying for a given opportunity. However, keeping in mind simple follow-up tactics can benefit the candidate in the end – as long as it is done tactfully.

Things that make you go hmmm…

Before deciding to follow up on a position, it is important to keep in mind possible reasons as to why feedback has not been received. Here are a few reasons to consider:

• The recruiter or hiring manager has not received feedback from their client or hiring authority, thus they have nothing to share.

• The recruiter or hiring manager may currently be out of the office on business travel or vacation. Even in this day and age of technology, it is not always easy to respond in a timely manner. We still believe in being present when meeting with others, driving, etc.

• No news is rarely good news. If you have not been asked to schedule an interview in over a month, chances are the position has been filled or the search is no longer a priority.

We asked President, Ben Farber to share a few of his favorite tips on how to follow up effectively when seeking a status update.

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Interviewer rejecting applicant after an interview. Oops! Common Interview Mistakes Candidates Make

A job interview is a two-way street – it’s a conversation that helps assess if the candidate is the right fit for the employer and vice versa. However, if the candidate has a poor interview, it can ruin their chance of receiving the job offer. By recognizing and avoiding potential interview mistakes, candidates can prevent themselves from giving a negative impression on the employer.

Our executive recruiters share interview mistakes that candidates have made and ways to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Interview Mistake #1: No Preparation

Insufficient preparation can make the candidate look unprofessional and will be evident to their potential employer through their lack of serious, pertinent questions and answers regarding the job and the organization.

The candidate should research the company and the position thoroughly before an interview. That way, they can come to the interview armed with information that will enable them to sound well-informed.

Read More: How to Answer Difficult Interview Questions

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businessman with question marks over head thinking about executive recruitment questions
For potential candidates unfamiliar with the executive recruitment process, it’s common to have questions before feeling comfortable submitting a resume or participating in the hiring process of a career opportunity. At Bristol Associates, our executive recruiters do their best to give helpful and candid guidance that is beneficial to both the candidates and clients of our business.

We asked three of our recruiters to give their insight on commonly asked questions they received while working with candidates during the executive recruitment process.

Q: Can I call you to discuss the position I saw advertised on your website?

David Alford, Director

A: As recruiters, we are on the phone much of the day. To save us time and not waste your time, we like to get your resume prior to scheduling a conversation to ensure that the position you saw advertised is a good fit for both you and our client. Click here to submit your resume through our website.


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