January 12, 2021
Keith Mercurio, CEO and founder of the Ethical Influence Institute as well as Senior Director of Executive Success at Service Titan, is a story of continued humility, growth, and self-awareness. Hailing from Watertown, Massachusetts, Keith found himself in his early 20’s a college dropout who was blaming everything and everyone for his failures. He made his way into the trades when he took a job at a small plumbing company owned by his neighbor, and began a journey as a plumbing apprentice. During this time, Keith gained many mentors who helped him understand that if he wanted to change his results, he would need to change who he was as a person. This began Keith’s journey from plumbing to sales and eventually into the high-demand speaker, trainer, and consultant that he is today.
Keith joined Nexstar in 2011, and became their first full-time trainer ever. He coaches executives and executive teams to become more influential leaders by sharing his passion for influencing people in a way that honors and serves them. Oftentimes, the strategy to motivate others is formed around manipulation, bribery, and coercion. Keith trains as if the customer is watching, and instead of the typical sales training about how to change others, he trains how to change your thought patterns on a deeper level through self-reflection and awareness to influence both yourself and those around you.
Pointing to a study released in the New York Times, Keith notes that people have around 40-60,000 thoughts a day. Of those, 98% are the exact same as the day before, and 80% of those thoughts are negative. This is true for Keith as well, and he works hard to change his thought patterns to best serve himself and prevent insecurities. This is also what he helps others to do to remove this all-too-common roadblock to true success. In the past, Keith allowed imposter syndrome and negative thoughts to keep him from seizing opportunities. Now, his say-yes approach to life and willingness to prove those negative thoughts wrong has allowed him to open up both his world and the worlds of the thousands who have been the beneficiaries of his speaking engagements, coaching, and consulting services.
Identity is what drives the outcomes of our business and our lives, and Keith serves leaders by helping them transform their identity to influence culture. At Nexstar, he trained tens of thousands of technicians, plumbers, contractors, executives, and more. What Keith noticed is that oftentimes, he would return to a company for training and find that the group was more or less at the baseline he last found them in, despite leaving the previous training session motivated and seemingly changed for the better. He dug deeper to figure out why this was, and recognized that managers and leadership were often on their phones during training, stepping out early, or not attending at all. While 80% of the companies in the Nexstar network were sending their revenue-facing employees to training, only about 30% were sending their leaders to management training.
So, what does that tell us? Leaders often believe automatically that their current skillset and knowledge is sufficient, and that if only their team could know what they know, they’d find success. The problem is that your team will only grow at the rate which leadership grows. It’s not a vertical growth, it’s a linear, ongoing, parallel growth relationship between leadership and their team. Now, Keith trains management first. If leadership isn’t willing to transform, there’s no chance that the team and culture will change as well.
Part of Keith’s teachings involve his ethical influence model, which helps others understand their relation to their own identity and how it affects their lives as well as those around them. This model is born out of the wisdom and understanding of emotional intelligence. The four quadrants to this model are self-awareness, influence of self, awareness of others, and influence of others. This is an introductory look at some of what Keith teaches, so if you’d like to learn more, be sure to check our his teaching, consulting, training, and coaching services.
The first thing you have to understand is that your current physical and emotional state is creating a filter through which you experience reality. What you’re focused on and how you’re feeling will dictate how you experience and interact with the world around you. It’s important to understand why you’re experiencing the world around you the way you are so that you can gain self-awareness necessary to take control. Many people will blame their circumstances for the way things are, but it’s our relationship to our circumstances that is the true decider of our reality. This is rooted in science, and it’s not some wishful philosophical ponderings. It’s not positive thinking, it’s powerful thinking.
It’s one thing to have self awareness, and it’s another to be able to change your current state. The pathway to power is finding your responsibility in the things you want to be different. If you can’t figure out what you’re responsible for, you can’t make the necessary changes. We create a story, or narrative around our lives, assigning labels to things that often prevent us from making positive change. You have to be able to first separate the facts from this story we fabricate to deal with the actual data. Then, it’s simply a matter of figuring out what you are doing or not doing with these facts to influence yourself to change and get the results you want.
Our entire lives, we’ve been trained to figure out how to ask for what we want. We become experts in using language to be heard and receive, but don’t even listen to learn how to give. By breaking this pattern and learning how to best meet the needs of those around you, you can find more success in both your personal and professional life.
By having the courage to be honest with yourself and others about your intentions, you can listen and be heard to get what you need. It also opens up the ability to determine how you can contribute instead of simply what you can take from a situation. In everything Keith does, he asks a simple question: how does this honor and serve those around me? This focus on intent allows for him to navigate the world in a way that generates truly transformational success.
Your mindset is the foundation for everything you do, and the results you’re getting. Instead of seeking to learn what you’re right about, figure out what you’re doing wrong! This is the true path to growth. The best way to crush your plans for 2021 is to make sure your head and heart are in the right place. If you’d like to get in touch with Keith, you can learn more about what he does and contact him by visiting his website.