The Law of Influence: The Power to Lead is Measured by the Ability to Influence Others


Note: This is the second part of a 21-part series on John Maxwell’s bestselling book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”

In his book "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership," John Maxwell explains that the second law of leadership is the law of influence. According to Maxwell, the ability to influence others is the true measure of a leader's power and success. In this column, we will explore the key concepts and strategies behind the law of influence and how leaders can develop their ability to influence others.

Influence is the Key to Leadership Success

Leadership is not about having authority or control over others. Rather, it is about inspiring and guiding people towards a common goal. The most effective leaders are those who can influence others to follow their vision and work together towards a shared objective. Influence is the glue that binds a team together and helps leaders achieve their goals.

Developing Influence Requires Understanding People

Leaders who want to develop their influence must first understand the people they are trying to influence. This means taking the time to listen to others, understand their motivations, and build relationships with them. Leaders who take the time to get to know their followers are better able to understand what drives them and can tailor their messages to resonate with them.

The Power of Relationships

Relationships are the foundation of influence. Leaders who can build strong relationships with others are more likely to be trusted and respected. This trust and respect create a foundation of credibility that allows leaders to influence others more effectively. Building strong relationships requires leaders to be authentic, transparent, and to consistently act in the best interests of others.

The Art of Communication

Influence also requires effective communication. Leaders who can articulate their vision and ideas in a compelling way are more likely to influence others. Good communicators can adapt their style to match their audience and to present information in a way that is clear, concise, and engaging. They also listen actively and respond to feedback, which helps build trust and credibility with their followers.

The Importance of Character and Integrity

Leaders who want to develop their influence must also cultivate their character and integrity. People are more likely to follow leaders who are trustworthy, honest, and have a strong moral compass. Leaders who exhibit integrity and character demonstrate to others that they can be trusted, which helps build their influence.

Leadership by Example

Leaders who want to develop their influence must also lead by example. This means demonstrating the values and behaviors that they expect from others. Leaders who walk the talk are more likely to influence others and gain their trust and respect.

In conclusion, the law of influence is a critical component of successful leadership. Leaders who are able to influence others are more likely to achieve their goals and have a positive impact on those around them. Developing one's ability to influence others requires a deep understanding of people, strong relationships, effective communication, integrity, and leading by example. By following these principles, leaders can build their influence and become more effective leaders.