The Law of Influence

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership 0 421
Do you have influence?

Test out where you are at with the Law of Influence.  This is a test from the back of the 10th Anniversary Edition of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell.  Use this as a tool to help you track against the Law of the Influence.

The Law of Influence

The True Measure of Leadership Is Influence – Nothing More, Nothing Less

1. A) I rely on influence rather than on my position or title to get others to follow me or do what I want.

2. B) During discussions or brainstorming settings people turn to me and ask for my advice.

3. C) I rely on my relationships with others rather than organizational systems and procedures to get things done.


Chapter 2 – The Law of Influence – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John Maxwell

This is the second of a series of posts on each of the chapters of the John Maxwell classic.  The format is starting with thoughts and a summary and ending with some bullet points with key take-aways.  Looking forward to hearing feedback!  You can see the full series as it grows here

Thoughts and Summary:

Influence is the core of leadership.  Princess Diana was an example of influence even after loss of title.  She created influence during her time when she was married to Prince Charles, but even after the divorce, she still made a huge impact because of the influence she gained.  Leadership through position and leverage is the weakest form of leadership.  At the end of her life, she didn’t have the title anymore but it didn’t matter because she had influence which is what drives and causes actual change.

At the end of the day, that’s what leadership should be for, to influence others to personal growth and productivity to impact some part of the world, hopefully to something better.

Peter Drucker famously said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”  Though managers and business leaders have power over an employee’s salary, if you don’t reach their heart and mind through influence, you’ll never get their best and may have to always be ready to replace them when they leave for another organization that will help lead them to be their best.

Key concepts:

  • Leadership in its purest form is influencing others to a common goal.
  • Leadership is not:
  •       Management Myth:  Management is about maintaining systems and processes.  Leadership is about taking people somewhere.
  •       Entrepreneur Myth:  People assume sales people and entrepreneurs must be leaders.  Maybe but not necessarily.  Plenty have influence for a moment but it ends up fleeting with no long lasting impact.
  •       Knowledge Mtyh:  Intellectual horsepower doesn’t automatically make someone a leader.  Plenty of geniuses who have no leadership clout.
  •       Pioneer Myth:   You need more than just to be at the front to be the leader.  If you don’t have others coming behind you, then you are fooling yourself.
  •       Position Myth:  Just because you have the title, if you don’t have influence, it will quickly become clear how little the title gets you.

Favorite quotes:

  • “IF YOU DON’T HAVE INFLUENCE, you will never be able to lead others.”
  • “Ultimately, she(Princess Diana) made things happen because she was an influencer, and leadership is influence-nothing more, nothing less.”
  • “It’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position.”
  • “Positional leadership doesn’t work in volunteer organizations  . . . the only thing that works is leadesrhip in its purest form”
  • “The very essence of all power to influence lies in getting the other person to participate.”
  • “If you are a businessperson and you really want to find out whether your people are capable of leading, send them out to volunteer their time in the community.”
  • “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk”

Questions to ask yourself:  First, how’s your vision?  How well does your team understand it?  If you haven’t read “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek, do yourself a favor and check it out.  I bet you’ll really like it.  With a strong vision that the best people resonate with, as the leader think LEED(Love, Equip, Empower and Develop) and you won’t go wrong in retaining them and helping them get to give their best.

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