I am pleased to announce that my latest book, Elements of Influence: The Art of Getting Others to Follow Your Lead, has just been published by AMACOM books. This book follows—and is a companion to—The Elements of Power, which was published last January. The power book explores the eleven sources of power people have: how they build these power sources and how they can lose power. The influence book explores how people exercise power and use various techniques to lead and influence others.
Research shows that there are ten positive influence techniques—ten ethical ways you can get others to take your lead, to believe something you want them to believe, think in a way you want them to think, or do something you want them to do. Influence is not some magic power only a few people have. Every person on the planet exercises influence all the time. Influence is part of nearly every communication. It occurs in virtually every human interaction. It is so fundamental to leadership that there could be no leadership without it.
Until recently, it was common for leaders to influence with authority, but with the rise of knowledge workers, people are more resistant to such command-and-control methods. Today, most of a leader’s work is done through influence rather than authority, through collaborative rather than coercive methods, by inspiring commitment rather than demanding compliance.
Influence is a skill. It can be learned. You can become better at influencing others, even across cultures. Influencing effectively requires an adaptive mindset, and influencing effectively across cultures requires a global mindset.
Elements of Influence is packed with examples, stories, and practical tips for learning how to be a more effective leader through influence. Along with the ten ethical influence techniques, I describe four negative or unethical techniques, including manipulating, intimidating, and threatening. These techniques also work, but they damage or destroy the relationship between the influencer and the influencee. Finally, the book includes my influence effectiveness self-test, a simple questionnaire for exploring how effectively you use the ten techniques of influence (you can also find this self-test on this web site).
Together, The Elements of Power and Elements of Influence offer a comprehensive way to understand how people build power and how they use that power to effectively lead and influence others.