Grow Your Leadership Skills – Lead with Influence

Do you know you are a leader, but need help growing your leadership skills?

While the phrase “natural born leader” is often used, there’s really not scientific support for this phenomenon. In reality anyone could become a leader and everyone should grow as a leader.

To become a leader is to become a learner. Leadership is not a natural gifting but a set of abilities, and like any other skill set it is to be learned and improved.

Those who have chosen to take on or accept a leadership role must own their personal responsibility for developing their leadership ability.

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, et al, Influencer

Whether you’re a CEO, a parent, or merely a person who wants to make a difference, you probably wish you had more influence with the people in your life. But most of us stop trying to make change happen because we believe it is too difficult, if not impossible. We learn to cope rather than learning to influence.

From the bestselling authors who taught the world how to have Crucial Conversations comes the new edition of Influencer, a thought-provoking book that combines the remarkable insights of behavioral scientists and business leaders with the astonishing stories of high-powered influencers from all walks of life. You’ll be taught each and every step of the influence process–including robust strategies for making change inevitable in your personal life, your business, and your world. You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify high-leverage behaviors that lead to rapid and profound change
  • Apply strategies for changing both thoughts and actions
  • Marshal six sources of influence to make change inevitable

Influencer takes you on a fascinating journey from San Francisco to Thailand to South Africa, where you’ll see how seemingly “insignificant” people are making incredibly significant improvements in solving problems others would think impossible. You’ll learn how savvy folks make change not only achievable and sustainable, but inevitable. You’ll discover breakthrough ways of changing the key behaviors that lead to greater safety, productivity, quality, and customer service.

No matter who you are or what you do, you’ll never learn a more valuable or important set of principles and skills. Once you tap into the power of influence, you can reach out and help others work smarter, grow faster, live, look, and feel better–and even save lives. The sky is the limit . . . for an Influencer.


John Maxwell, arguably one of the most respected authorities on leadership, is well known for his definition of leadership as being influence – nothing more, nothing less.

It is a good start, but it is not adequate by itself.

David Burkas, executive coach, modifies Maxwell’s definition:

Leadership is the process of influencing others to work toward a mutually desired vision.

Leaders, then, recruit and influence followers to work together to make a shared vision reality.

At the end of the day, what qualifies people to be called “leaders” is their capacity to influence others to change their behavior in order to achieve important results.

Influencers are successful because they think intentionally about their ability to help others act in unprecedentedly effective ways. They think about influencing behavior, talk about it, and practice it.

Three keys that all influencers adhere to and that you can use to your own benefit:

Focus and measure. Influencers are crystal clear about the result they are trying to achieve and are zealous about measuring it.

Find vital behaviors. Influencers focus on high-leverage behaviors that drive results. More specifically, they focus on the two or three vital actions that produce the greatest amount of change.

Engage all six sources of influence. Influencers break from the pack by overdetermining change. Where most of us apply a favorite influence tool or two to our important challenges, influencers identify all of the varied forces that are shaping the behavior they want to change and then get them working for rather than against them. And now for the really good news. According to research, by getting six different sources of influence to work in their favor, influencers increase their odds of success tenfold. The six sources are:

  • Personal motivation – help them love what they hate

  • Personal ability – help them do what they can’t

  • Social motivation – provide encouragement

  • Social ability – provide assistance

  • Structural motivation – change their economy

  • Structural ability – change their space

Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, et al, Influencer


Review each of the three keys above by considering the following questions.

Influence begins when you focus and measure

  • Identify what you are really trying to accomplish
  • Create measures that focus your attention on this goal
  • Takes these measures frequently

Next, find vital behaviors

  • Identify two or three behaviors that will drive the majority of your change
  • Concentrate all your change efforts on these behaviors

Finally, engage all six sources of influence

  • Review the six sources of influence listed above
  • Which of these six sources are working against you?
  • How can you turn it from a negative into a positive source of influence?

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 69-1, issued June 2017


Part of a weekly series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader

Regular daily reading of books is an important part of my life. It even extends to my vocation, where as Vision Room Curator for Auxano I am responsible for publishing SUMS Remix, a biweekly book “summary” for church leaders. Each Wednesday I will be taking a look back at previous issues of SUMS Remix and publishing an excerpt here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s