Book Review: The Art of Influence by Chris Widener3 min read

The Art of Influence is an enjoyable and easy to read book that is all about understanding that persuading others really begins with you.

Influence is in your ability to change another person’s thoughts, beliefs and actions. In order to be successful in business, you have to be able to influence people. You can’t expect to be a great leader or a great salesperson if you can’t influence others.

Influence is all about who you become as you progress through life. The kind of person you are is what determines your influence, which in turn, is what determines your success. If you want to become a great leader, you have to make a clear decision to become the person others will want to follow.

Talk a moment and think about someone that you experienced in your life as a great leader, mentor or influencer, was it a teacher, a boss that you enjoyed working for or a coach you played for? What did you see in that person that influenced you in that positive way? What was it about them that impressed you that you still remember them?

This book is a story about a young man named Marcus that was mentored by a very successful man named Bobby. Bobby at one point in the book had given Marcus an exercise to write down 10 things that he would look for in a leader.

The list finished up as follows.

  1. Honesty
  2. Passion
  3. Vision
  4. Empowering
  5. Fairness
  6. Decisiveness
  7. Good Listening Skills
  8. Good Communicator
  9. Courage
  10. Positive Attitude

When you look at this list you will find that eight of these are character traits and two are skills. This is important to understand because people are always sizing you up, and it is mostly all about your character that usually gets them to follow you. Yes you can lead for a while with great skills, however if you don’t have character, people will eventually turn their back on you.

Remember to stop, think and take a look at all the great leaders that you can think of, whether you knew them or read about them in the history books. The one common trend you will always find is that they had a heard of loyal followers. A great leader can only have loyal followers by being a great influencer.

This book covered the Four Golden Rules of Influence

  • Live Life With Undivided Integrity
  • Always Demonstrate A Positive Attitude
  • Consider Other People’s Interest As More Important Than Your Own
  • Don’t Settle For Anything Less Than Excellence

I recommend you give this book a read as I did. Take a look at the 10 traits listed above and grade yourself on each on a scale of 1 – 10. Print them out along with the Four Golden Rules as I did and post them where you can see them.

I trust this book will be another in your library that will have a Positive Influence on your life and in turn those around you as well.