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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Powerful People: The Movers and the Shakers

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Whether your personality tends to fit the “Influential” description or not, the value of watching such people is relevant to anyone with a mind open to learning. Powerful may not be the best word to describe what career practitioners are aiming for when assisting clients, but the transformation that can happen in a client after studying “movers and shakers” could very well be powerful.

~ Melanie Reinersman, M.A.,

Photo by Pam Sharpe on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Who Are the Movers and Shakers?

Probably best defined as “those who shake the foundations of conventional thinking by the strength of their imagination and vision,” the term “movers and shakers” seems to have several applications depending on the view of the origin. Regardless, the current term seems to be applied exclusively to people of power. What does this phrase mean to you?

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Pursuing Power with Integrity

It is acceptable for people to want power if they achieve it without abusing it. Examining the confidence and fortitude it takes to wield power in life (e.g., innovation, speaking up, and forward motion) reveals habits like graciousness, leading without a title, mastering conflict, and focusing on what really matters. Read more from this emotionally intelligent author.


A documentary film, entitled “Redirection: Movers, Shakers and Shifters,” encourages discussion between career development professionals and their clients who are over age 50. The transition and occupational changes later in life leads to compelling stories from unique “movers and shakers” presented in this film, who offer hope and inspiration. View it at CERIC.

CAREER SPOTLIGHT: This VP is Movin’ and Shakin’

Many companies spotlight employees to let others know who the “movers and shakers” are. Here is a brief and inspirational interview with “rising superstar Christiana Cacciapuoti, VP of Partnerships and Platform Operations at MadHive, a blockchain-based ad tech platform, and Executive Director of AdLedger, the blockchain consortium for digital media.” Her advice regarding telling supervisors what you want can help anyone advance their career quickly. Read more about this powerful person.


Recognition and positive affirmation are found in many professional organizations’ lists of movers and shakers. Publicly (or at least electronically) acknowledging people in the industry seems to be goal. (Perhaps another goal is to inspire others to be more professionally active! Or maybe the question is – why aren’t these lists in our field?) Here are a few examples: National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Illinois Association of College Admissions Counseling

TOP TEN: List of Top Tens in Various Fields

The top influential people in specific fields are called “movers and shakers.” Here are few top ten lists that might be worth watching in 2019 – and sharing with clients who might be interested in these fields: Top Ten in Retail Top Ten in Business Top Ten in Libraries (yes, librarians are powerful!) Top Ten in E-Learning Top Ten in Health IT Top Ten in AI Top Ten in Hospitals Top Ten in Sustainability Top Ten in the Art Scene Top Ten in Marketing


“It’s up to you to bring yourself to the attention of powerful people around you. They’re not going to find you on their own.” - Richard Parsons
“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seek common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities. Strong men make them.” - Orison Swett Marden


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