The Noticer Project: The Five People Who Have Had the Greatest Influence on Me

At the end of this month, we are launching Andy Andrews’ new book, The Noticer. As part of the promotion, we have created The Noticer Project. The goal is to launch a worldwide movement of people who will take a few minutes to “notice” five of the most influential people in their life.

handwritten thank you note

Noticing these five people can be private—just a letter or an email—or public—writing a blog post, updating your Facebook or Twitter status or joining The Noticer Project Facebook Group. Regardless, we want to encourage people to notice the people who have had the most influence in their life now, rather than waiting until a wedding, graduation, or—God forbid—a funeral.

The most difficult part of this exercise is limiting it to five people. There are literally hundreds of people who have helped me along the way. But at the risk of overlooking someone important, here are my top five:

  1. Robert Hyatt is my dad. He is the first person who came to mind when I decided to write this post. My dad has had a tremendous, positive impact on my life. I have gone to him several times in my career, wondering aloud how I was going to solve some perplexing problem. His response is as predictable—and as welcome—as the sun after a hard rain. “No problem. You can handle it!” He didn’t give me the answer; he gave me something far more valuable: confidence. It is exactly what I have needed in those moments of self-doubt.
  2. Robert Wolgemuth is my one-time boss, former business partner, and dear friend. He taught me what integrity looks like in a business context. When he first hired me, he promised me a raise in 90 days if I did a good job. When it came time to make good on the promise, the country was in the midst of recession. Our parent company had frozen raises for all employees. So what did Robert do? He paid me the raise out of his own pocket. This had a profound impact on me, as you can imagine. I learned from him that integrity is making your actions line up with your words.
  3. Sam Moore was another boss and my immediate predecessor at Thomas Nelson. He was (and still is) a whirlwind of energy. Even in his seventies, he refused to take the elevator to the second floor where his office was located. Instead, he would take the stairs—two at a time! I could hardly keep up with him. On several occasions, I had to brief him on something that had gone wrong in the business. After describing the problem, he would always say to me, “Mike, is Romans 8:28 still in the Bible?” I would say, “Yes, sir, it is.” Then he would respond, “Then it’s going to be okay.”
  4. Dan Meub was my executive coach for a number of years. He has also facilitated our strategic planning at Thomas Nelson and has become one of my most trusted advisors. He maintains a wonderful balance between empathy and problem-solving. Dan has the uncanny ability to take a brain dump full of ideas, organize them, and give them back to you in a simple model that makes you go “Wow!” His biggest contribution to my life has been in the area of crafting a life plan and helping me keep it all in balance.
  5. Ilene Muething runs a consulting practice for Gap International. She has worked with me personally and also with our company. She has helped me see how my thinking shapes my outcomes. She is also the one who first asked me, “What is it about your leadership that led to that outcome?” In fact, her ability to ask thoughtful, penetrating questions has done more to grow me as a leader than anything else I have done. She has also taught me the language of possibility and the role of language in shaping reality.

So those are my five. But I have actually saved the most important one for last. (I know I am cheating, but, hey, it’s my blog.) She has no equal and belongs in a category by herself—my wife, Gail. We have been married for almost thirty-one years. She is the one who keeps me grounded. She is my best friend, my counselor, and my lover. She is a one-woman cheerleading squad. Without her constant nurturing and support, I’m confident I would have accomplished very, very little in my life.

So now it’s your turn.

Question: Who are the five people who have had the greatest influence in your life? If you have a blog, why not “notice” them now?
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  • Mark

    Interesting. I've been off the self help mode for a while now because I read the books, then set them down and never took action – just read more books. Kind of like the man who looks in the mirror as described in the book of James.
    Thinking of the 5 people makes me think of how I've probably let them down, but they helped me to look in the mirror…

  • mvivas

    For a second there I thought you weren't going to mention Gail. It is very clear that you both have a wonderful bond and relationship, so she should be in a category of her own.

    Great post Mike. I'll definitely create my list!

  • http://michellebeckhamcorbin.blogspot.com/ Michelle Beckham

    Wow! What a very cool project. Love what you wrote above about the people who had an impact on your life. I totally agree that we need to take the time NOW to recognize the folks who helped mold and shape us into the individuals we are today. I can’t wait to read your book and will spread the message on to my contacts on Twitter and Facebook.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your help, Michelle.

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com kimmi

    Very nice, Michael and best is last, is what I've always heard.

    My faith influences every waking minute, my luv, my children — who are our most precious gifts and finally, people like you and many other bloggers whom I stumble across and am just so blown away by their willingness to share –help, inspire and connect with e-strangers.

  • http://www.ad1024.wordpress.com Andy Depuy

    Mike
    You are right,there are more than just 5 people that has helped me in my life.I will have a list for you soon.i just got The Noticer in the mail yesterday,to read & then review it on my blog & One other.I my blog I will put my list & let you know

  • Michael Hyatt

    Great. I look forward to reading it, Andy. Best.

  • http://www.marlataviano.com Marla Taviano

    I have to admit–I was bummed you didn't mention Gail. :( And then you did. :) I think your wife is pretty special.

  • http://synapticlight.com/ Phillip Gibb

    Very cool, got me thinking :-)
    and it is good to remember those people, not only for the credit they deserve but also to remember why they influenced you.

  • http://lynnrush.wordpress.com/ LynnRush

    Nice!!! I'm so gonna do this on my blog next week. It's true, we need to lift up those people who have influenced us. The descriptions of yours were very encouraging. Thirty-one years! That's awesome. I love hearing of marriages that have some longevity. It's so inspiring. Great post. Thanks.

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  • http://blog.hafchurch.org/peter Peter_P

    Awesome.

    I've done my five and am encouraging others to do theirs.

    Great idea. Thanks Michael.

  • http://nlpg.com Robert Parrish

    Praise to you, Michael, for giving your wife the highest honor in your list of the 5 (6?) most influential people in your life. Way to go!

  • http://wwwpenandpalette-susancushman.blogspot.com/ Susan_Cushman

    I salute my "top five"–those who have had the most positive influence in my life: (1) My husband of 38 years, Father Basil/Doctor William Cushman (yes, he's an Orthodox priest and a physician); (2) My daughter, Beth, who, at age 26, is a model to me of so many things I still want to be; (3) My best friend, Daphne Davenport, who loves me unconditionally, never judges me, and always supports me in my personal and spiritual journey; (4) My spiritual father, Father John Troy Mashburn, Pastor of St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis, who literally pulled me from the pit of darkness that I fell into eighteen years ago, and nurtured my return to God and the Church, hears my confessions without judgding, and always points me to Christ; and (5) Mother Gabriella, Abbess, Holy Dormition Monastery, Rives Junction, Michigan, the most transparently wise and loving woman I have ever known, who has loved me through every stage of my bumpy spiritual journey.

  • colleencoble

    I just love this! It helps foster an attitude of gratitude. My top five are my husband and kids, my previous pastor of 17 years Steve Parks, my author "peeps" Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter and Diann Hunt, my editor Ami McConnell, and my beloved grandmother Eileen Everroad who has been gone to glory now for 20 years but her advice still rings in my ears.

  • Jim Ramsbottom

    In this noisy, me-driven world, it is tough to take our eyes off "our" prize and look at those who helped/are helping us along the way. My five: wife, Helen, of 16 years, whose name "light bearer" is so appropriate; dad, Hal, who in his final struggling years is still my life buddy; mom, Bernice, who is the ultimate renaissance woman of my life, still reading and learning, playing piano, arguing with me about religion, and gardening; son, Johnny, who is a prince of integrity and the world's most right-eous Jedi; and daughter, Abbie, my favorite princess who dances and sings so innocently through life.

    One suggestion: please inform your influencers face to face, in letter form, or on the phone. I think one of the purposes of this exercise is to make meaningful re-connection with these precious souls. And life has become so electronically impersonal. Quick, yes, but equally quickly forgotten. Easy is rarely best.

    And of course, our Father, Savior, and Holy Spirit are in a category all their own. Do they count as one or three?

    He is alive! He is alive indeed!

  • http://www.rachelhauck.com Rachel Hauck

    Great post, Mike. One of the stamps on my life is incredible encouragement. God has always sent so many encourages to me. Yet, there are those who stand out. My Dad, my husband, Mike Bickle through his lifestyle of fasting and prayer and amazing teaching and insight into the Word.

    My editor for speaking such words of life to me in ways she's never known. I appreciate Ami McConnell so very much.

    My agent, Katie Sulkowski.

    My Tuesday night dream team and home church.

    Hmm, I'll have to go think on this more clearly, then blog about it. So funny that at this moment, I'm listening to a Bickle teaching on encouragement right now!

    We're jiving this week Mike. First the topic of worry, and now encouragement! ;) Great minds. . .

    Many blessings to you and Gail and your family this Resurrection weekend. His is risen indeed!

    Rachel

  • http://hereiblog.com Mark Lamprecht

    Mike, I appreciate this post. I received my review copy of The Noticer last week. I look forward to finishing it and keeping in mind the project.

    I am going to think about the five people as you've done above. I've always had trouble choosing what might be called "favorites". It's no different here, but I am really going to try. This might actually help me "notice" what the Lord's done in my life through certain people.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  • http://www.naiwe.com Janice Campbell

    What a challenge! I started creating my list, then realized that it contained mostly authors (C.S. Lewis at the top of the heap), rather than living people who have touched me in a personal way. I'm really going to have to think about this.

  • http://blog.hafchurch.org/peter Peter_P

    I'm going to do a second list this week. I've already blogged the five people who have influenced me most in my life to date but now I'm going to do the five who are influencing me most right now.

    These may not be people who in 20 years I look back and say 'they are the very most influential people in the whole of my life' but they are the ones who are having the most impact right now today.

    I have found this project a great learning experience. I am learning about myself by 'noticing' how different people have affected the way I thin and act and believe.

  • http://www.sheeptotheright.com Carol Hatcher

    Great post! I love the fact that you openly praise your wife. I follow you on Twitter and I smile every time you mention her. It's obvious in your word choices when talking about her that you honor and cherish her. What a blessing!

  • http://synapticlight.com/ Phillip Gibb

    Great thoughts, I need to sit down and think of the people that influenced me. Not only will that be cool to give them a shout out, but it may show me a few thing about myself and the decisions I make.

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  • http://www.thingsivenoticed.com UH2L

    It’s funny that I found out about Andy Andrews because I was going to rename my blog Things I’ve Noticed to The Noticer so I bought the domain thenoticer.com. I thought I’d look it up on Google and I stumbled upon your blog. It is nice looking as HeatherL says. It seems like making this list of 5 people will be a popular Facebook list for people to do.

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