Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Four Rules of Influence

John Maxwell says that leadership is influence. You can't lead without it. You can drive people without it, but that won't work for long. Leadership by fear or intimidation is doomed for failure.

Chris Widner’s new book, The Art of Influence, gives the proper emphasis regarding the topic of influence. He says in this entertaining short story, that influence is a gift followers give you because you have become the kind of person they want to follow and be influenced by. He provides four rules of influence:
  • Living a Life of Undivided Integrity. Notwithstanding that integrity is in fact being undivided, he writes that while leaders do make mistakes, followers “do expect their leaders to admit and correct their mistakes, mend the cracks in their integrity, if you will. Left unchecked, eventually a lack of integrity erodes the trust that is needed between a leader and a follower.”
  • Always Demonstrate a Positive Attitude. People respond to optimism. Bad things happen. And when they do, you need to ask not “Why did this happen to me?” but “What’s next?” or “What good can come from this?” “You are choosing to believe that something good can come from negative circumstances and that the future will be better than the present.”
  • Consider Other People’s Interests as More Important Than Your Own. “Even more important than being interesting, is being interested.”
  • Don’t Settle For Anything Less Than Excellence. Widner encourages us to grow our influence by improving ourselves around seven areas of excellence: physical appearance, emotional health, intellectual growth, spiritual depth, relationships, financial success, and charitable giving. Excellence is in the details.

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