Maxwell Friday: The Law of Influence

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“If you can’t influence people, then they will not follow you.  And if people won’t follow, you are not a leader.  That’s the Law of Influence.”

–     John C. Maxwell, in his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”

In our second Maxwell Friday, he comes out strong enough that it probably could have been a really short book.  (Actually, it couldn’t.  The next 19 are all genius, too!)

A couple of my mentors said it differently, but just barely:  “Think you’re a leader?  Turn around.  If no one’s there, you’re not a leader.”

Strong leadership shows itself in good times and bad.  In good times, new ideas are flowing, all energy is focused on pulling the same direction and everyone holds everyone else accountable to a standard of “better” every day.  In bad times, strong leaders are vulnerable and transparent, inviting input from those closest to the action, as well as those who disagree with the boss.  In bad times, strong leaders openly discuss strategies and risks.  In each case, followers will be plenty.

Then there’s the flip side.  Without strong leadership, there aren’t really good times.  And in bad times, lack of leadership is easy to spot.  Closed doors, keeping newcomers at arms length, discouraging (either in word or deed) candor and criticism, honoring structure over strategy and otherwise assuring that no one lines up behind us — well, back to Maxwell’s point.  If people won’t follow you…

In case you didn’t click the link above, I’ll give it to you straight again; The Law of Leadership — “Leadership is influence.  Nothing more, nothing less.”

Editor’s Note:  Buy the book.  It’ll change your life and career.  Just sayin’…

 


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