If you don’t have Influence, you will never be able to leadJohn C. Maxwell
The second law of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is The Law of Influence).
The Law of Influence states that
The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.John C. Maxwell
Princess Diane and Mother Teresa both died in 1997, a few days from each other. Both where women of tremendous influence. Maxwell doesn’t say much about Mother Teresa in this chapter but he shows how influential was Princess Diane.
In the beginning, Diane’s title had merely given her a platform to address others, but she soon became a true person of influence, influence that kept growing even after her divorce. For Maxwell, Diane was a leader, because she was an influencer, and leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less.
There are many misconceptions about leadership, and we naturally assume that someone who has the proper title or has a leadership position is automatically a leader. This is not the case, according to John C. Maxwell.
The Law of Influence in the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership debunks five common myths about leadership
- Management Myth – leading and managing are not the same thing. Management focuses on maintaining systems and processes, but they can’t change direction, while a leader influence people to follow.
- Entrepreneur Myth – While many entrepreneurs are skilled at finding opportunities and exploit them, not all of them are good with people, and if you can’t influence people, you can’t lead.
- Knowledge Myth – A high IQ or many degrees don’t make anybody a leader. “Knowledge is power” but knowledgeable people are not always leaders.
- Pioneer Myth – Not everybody who is in front of the crowd is a leader. You may be first and still not be a leader. A true leader also has people intentionally coming behind him
- Position Myth – “it’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position.” (Stanley Huffty). A leader doesn’t need a position to lead.
True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, assigned, or mandated. It comes only from influence.John C. Maxwelll
If you want to test your influence as a leader try to lead a voluntary team. Followers in voluntary organizations cannot be forced: they will only follow you, if you have influence on them.
The chapter ends with a proverb: “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk”
I don’t agree completely with John C. Maxwell about influencers being necessarily leaders. For me a leader does more than just influence others, but he is right when he says that a true leader needs to be an influencer, and not just have a title.
However, a marketer is also an influencer, and this does not make him or her necessarily a leader. Leadership requires having more than just influence. It requires also to motivate and direct people. But still, influence is absolutely essential to leadership, and to have a leadership position doesn’t guarantee true leadership.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
The book is divided in 21 main chapters, one for each of the 21 leadership laws.
- THE LAW OF THE LID
- THE LAW OF INFLUENCE
- THE LAW OF PROCESS
- THE LAW OF NAVIGATION
- THE LAW OF E.F.HUTTON
- THE LAW OF SOLID GROUND
- THE LAW OF RESPECT
- THE LAW OF INTUITION
- THE LAW OF MAGNETISM
- THE LAW OF CONNECTION
- THE LAW OF THE INNER CIRCLE
- THE LAW OF EMPOWERMENT
- THE LAW OF REPRODUCTION
- THE LAW OF BUY-IN
- THE LAW OF VICTORY
- THE LAW OF THE BIG MO
- THE LAW OF PRIORITIES
- THE LAW OF SACRIFICE
- THE LAW OF TIMING
- THE LAW OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH
- THE LAW OF LEGACY
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