As I continue in my adventure, process and journey with social networking both for business and personal, I am intrigued by this designation, of being a social influencer?

Who anointed people as such? What are the criteria for qualifying for this they are using?

People of influence are all around us, under the radar, unexpected people, who may not have big followers, friends, and peeps on  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or blog accounts. Having the presence on these social platforms certainly helps put causes and they can  benefit others out there, but it's still the people who have the impact. Sometimes it's a random act of kindness on one person.

By definition an influencer is a noun: The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions on others.

Hey folks, there are a lot of negative influencers I can site. Dahmer, McVey and Hitler. Check out this Top Ten Evil list. Wow, these are some really bad people, and all of them were influencers in a very bad way!

I saw a feature on MSNBC, about Christopher Rockefeller, who created a totally false persona, and scammed lots of people out of lots of money until he was busted. How the hell did he get away with it for several years? Didn't anyone check him out, or because he had a Rockefeller name and ran in the right circles, they just assumed he was what he said he was?

One person went online to research Chris Rockefeller, and found out there was a Chris Rockefeller, from the prominent family, but he had died several years prior. This Chris guy acted out this whole masquerade and people bought into it and handed over cash money to him without checking him out!

My point, and I know I may not be getting right to it is an influencer is, and should be, the result of being a LEADER that influences others in a compelling way for good, not bad.

I much rather prefer the idea of a thought and action leader.

This implies influence is NOT about a BIG external persona of amassing followers, subscribers, re-tweets, click backs, stuff. Influence is about a BIG internal, authentic, kind, real persona that is using that leadership to do good.

There are so many thought and action leaders today, who are, through their eclectic experience, wisdom and great work harnessing all of it to help others. It's perfectly OK to make some money as a result of it as demonstrated with Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Oprah, Angelina.

Do you wonder how to get a thought and action leaders attention? Here's an article from Tamar Weinberg, How to Get an Influencer's Attention. Influence is everywhere, but it's up to you to spot it.

Who are the thought and action leaders that have and are influencing you today and why?

How are you using your leadership and influence to do good? If you need to brainstorm on your leadership strategy, call me.

Deborah Shane is the Chief Motivator, Educator and Catalyst of the professional development consulting company, Train With Shane.