Becoming a Person of Influence

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Becoming a Person of Influence

By John Maxwell


  • Everyone is an influencer of people no matter who you are. You don’t have to be the highest position to influence others, if you simply have contact with other people, you can influence others.
  • Without influence, there is no success.
  • A parent has to influence his children in a positive way; a pastor must be able to influence his people in a positive way in order to grow the church; a coach must influence his players in order to have a good team; and a manager must influence his employees or customers in order to make good sales.

Modeling – the first step of influence is modeling it; people do what people see.

Motivation – this is the second level of influence. You must be up close and personal to motivate someone. If people feel good about you and themselves when you’re with them, it will increase your influence and potential.

Mentoring – this is the third level of influencing and has to do with pouring your life into someone else.

Multiplication – this is the fourth and highest level. You help those who you’re influencing to do more as a result of your help and influence. Although few people ever make it to this level of influence, all of us have the potential to do so.

  • A Person of Influence has Integrity with People
    • You don’t want to give away or sell your integrity for any price.
    • You can cut corners and no one will know, but it’s better to have a clear conscience than merely getting by with something.
    • Politicians are caught doing illegal actions, professional sports players are caught with drugs, pastors are caught in adultery, and the list can go on.
    • Character is made over time.
    • Character flaws are not made in dark times, they are revealed in dark times.
    • When Lincoln was in office he said that when he leaves the office he wants to be friends with mainly one person and that is himself – his integrity was important to him.
    • Integrity is your best friend.
    • Integrity is also your friend’s best friend. Doing right is best for you and others.
    • Trust is the bottom line of integrity and trust is a glue to keep friends together — when you get peoples trust, you can influence them.
  • A Person of Influence Nurtures People
    • To care for a dog you must feed it, then it will become loyal and love you. In some ways, people need to be cared for and fed as well: emotions, security, hope, etc.
    • We tend to think that in order to influence someone we have to have an authority position over them and constructively criticize them, but that is not true. To influence someone, we must care, help and have concern for them.
    • You cannot antagonize and influence someone at the same time.
    • You cannot publicly make someone feel important if you do not secretly think anything of that person.
    • People are influenced the most by those who make them feel good about themselves.
    • The key to nurturing other people is to become other-minded. Think of them and put yourself in their shoes.
    • Great leaders have a way of making other people feel a part.
    • When you nurture people and show respect to them, not expecting anything in return, you can influence their life.
  • A Person of Influence has Faith in People
    • Give people hope.
    • The key to how you treat people is what you think about them. Treat a man as he is and you’ll make him feel miserable, but treat a man as you think he should be and you’ll make him into a great person.
    • Give people your time, give with no strings attached, be accessible to them, and help them.
  • A Person of Influence Listens to People
    • Yes it is important to have vision casting, to be organized, and more, but the indispensable quality that you need as a leader is to learn to listen.
    • You’re not learning anything if you are doing all the talking.
    • Woodrow Wilson said that the ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.
    • Listening to people earns respect, generates loyalty, gives understanding of others, will help you and much more.
    • In order to be a good listener, you have to want to hear.
    • Here are nine suggestions to help you become a better listener:
      • Give your undivided attention – don’t catch up on work or shuffle through papers while you’re supposed to be listening.
      • Don’t interrupt – it is just as rude to step on other people’s ideas as it is to step on their toes.
      • Focus on understanding – most people can only remember 50% of what they hear. So decide to understand and not just listen.
      • Determine the need at the moment – people talk for different reasons: some need to be heard, some to vent, some out of frustration, etc. Find out why they are saying what they’re saying.
      • Check your emotions
      • Suspend your judgment – don’t jump to any conclusions until you’ve heard all of what has been said.
      • Sum up at major intervals – if you train yourself to comment frequently (summing up what they said after they finish a specific point), the person will know that you are listening and following them.
      • Ask good questions – if you want to understand someone, learn to ask them the right questions, follow-up questions.
      • Make listening a priority – it should be important to us to listen to those whom we work with and those around us, make it a priority.
  • A Person of Influence Understands People
    • Success in business has much to do with dealing with people, in fact all of life has to do with dealing with people.
    • If you cannot understand people and work with them, you can’t accomplish anything and you definitely cannot be a person of influence.
    • If you can learn to understand people, than you can help them, motivate them and influence them in a positive way.
    • Understanding people is so important, but why do so many people not care about understanding others – because of fear, intimidation, insecurity and so much more.
    • To understand people, realize that:
      • Everybody wants to be somebody – but it’s a basketball player or anything else, everyone wants to do something of significance with their life. If you treat everyone you meet as important, you can make a difference in her lives.
      • People have a need to be loved – nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
      • Everybody needs somebody – everyone needs somebody to come alongside them and help them – if you understand this, it will help others and yourself.
      • Everybody can be somebody when somebody believes in them – little things done at unimportant times can make a big difference. When was the last time you went out of your way to make someone feel special?
      • Anybody who helps somebody influences a lot of bodies – when you help one person, you are really impacting many other people.
  • A Person of Influence Enlarges People.
    • You can make others better than what they are right now.
    • To become an influence to people and help them, you have to come alongside them in their lives.
    • If you’re going to help others, you yourself must grow and become better.
    • You can teach what you know but you can only reproduce what you are
    • You must continue growing and learning if you’re going to help other people.
    • To help others:
      • See their potential
      • Cast a vision for the future. There are two kinds of people in life: the realist and the dreamers, the ones who’ve already been there.
      • Tap into their passion. Everyone has a passion for something so in order to help and influence someone, find out what their passion is & tap into it.
      • Address any character flaws. Remember that integrity is the foundation for growth, so if you do not help them with their foundation, they will not be able to grow.
      • Focus on their strengths first. Bring out their strong qualities and good attributes, the weaknesses can wait. Only after you have brought out the strengths can you help with their weaknesses… and even then, help in a gentle way and do one thing at a time with the weaknesses.
      • Enlarge one step at a time. Help them grow in steps instead of overwhelming and discouraging them. Help them in the areas of attitude and relationships.
      • Put resources in their hands. If you put good resources in people’s hands, not only will they look forward to seeing you but they will also grow in various areas of their life.
      • Teach them to be self growers. Teach them to help themselves, to find resources and to stand alone.
  • A Person of Influence Navigates for Other People.
    • Most people need help getting through difficult times in life and they could use help by being coached by someone with a good attitude.
    • A leader is someone who sees before other see and understands before others understand.
    • To help navigate people know:
      • What do people cry about – what other worries fears and doubts.
      • What do people dream about
      • Where are people going in life – help them know where to go and how to get there.
      • Make coarse corrections – not everyone knows when they get off track and how to get back on. Not everyone is a problem solver, so help them.
      • Good navigators go alongside the people – don’t just tell them where to go and how to go, go along with them.
    • Become a navigator of others – you will not only be able to help them through difficult times in their life, but your help will make you friends for life.
  • A Person of Influence Connects with People
    • You can navigate people bayou going alongside them, but to connect with them they have to come alongside you.
    • To connect with people remember the following:
      • Don’t take people for granted – you can only help people and influence them if you value them.
      • Possess a make-a-difference mindset – believe that you can make a difference, that the information you have can make a difference and your time with that person can make a difference.
      • Initiate towards them – one of the biggest problems managers have is the disconnect from their people. Most people believe that it is the follower’s decision to connect with them, but that is just the opposite for a leader who wants to influence.
      • Find common ground – learn to listen and find what you have in common.
      • Recognize and respect differences with other people – yes we find common ground, but they do not have to be exactly like us.
      • Find the keys to others lives – everyone has a key to their life, you just have to find it.
      • Communicate from the heart – now that you know who he is and what he is like, communicate from your own heart, be genuine.
      • Share common experiences – nothing will bind you together like the time of sharing experiences together. Take someone with you, eat a meal together, do an activity together, work together, etc.
      • Once connected, move forward – if you have not connected with the person, you cannot go forward; but if you have connected with the person, it’s time to move forward. Connection creates willingness.
  • A Person of Influence Empowers People
    • When you become an empower-er, you don’t only work in and through people, but you enable them to do more.
    • When you teach your child how to go across the street by himself and then let him, you are empowering him — and the same with delegating anything.
    • To empower others, you must have the position, relationship, respect and commitment to empower others.
    • To empower others:
      • Evaluate them – find out at what level they are in order to help them.
      • Model for them – even people with skill and desire need to know and see what is expected of them.
      • Believe in them – tell them and show them that you believe in them.
      • Transfer authority to them – it’s more than just giving them a workload, it’s giving them the authority to do it.
      • Assure your confidence in them publicly – public recognition shows them that you believe they will succeed.
      • Supply them with feedback – if you’re helping them, you must also give them feedback on how they’re doing, etc.
      • Release them to succeed on their own – you want the best for them so let them go succeed on their own.
  • A Person of Influence Reproduces other Influencers.
    • You may have helped others but if you cannot pass the baton effectively, it will die with them.
    • There’s no greater honor than a man pouring himself into something and then when he leaves, it flourishes.
    • The function of a leader is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
    • Learn to move from maintenance to multiplication – most people live their lives in the stage of maintenance and never get to the stage of multiplication.

I – modeling integrity

N nurturing the people to make them feel valued

F – showing faith in others so they can believe in themselves

L listening to others

U understanding them so that you can help them achieve their dreams

E enlarging them in order to help them increase their potential

N navigating people through life’s difficulties until they can do it themselves

C connecting with them so that you can move them to a higher level

E empowering them to become the person that they were made to be

R reproducing others so that your influence can continue on

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