Every great leader has at least one factor in common, the power to influence. Learning how to influence others is key in business. It affects nearly every aspect of entrepreneurship. Influence is used in negotiation, advertising, dealing with employees and clients, etc. The list of how influence is used is endless. Dale Carnegie wrote a classic book about this exact topic. It’s called How to Win Friends & Influence People. It’s definitely my favorite book on the topic.
If you can learn to influence others, the quality of your relationships will undoubtedly increase. Your emotional IQ and people skills also get better. The key to getting what you want is to give what they want. Business is very much a peoples person game. The more value you provide, the more value will be provided to you. There are a lot of aspects and strategies that are involved in influencing others, but I’ll just keep it simple for today. It comes down to the Golden Rule. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” If you follow this, you will be a success. Being a genuinely nice person goes a long way. People like working with others who have their morals and values in check.
Mahatma Gandhi may be my favorite example of influence. He didn’t have physical power, but he did have a massive following because of his morals, values, and beliefs. He freed India with his influence. He had millions of people under his control because people respected him. Gandhi truly cared about his people and therefore they cared back. His influence altered the course of history and inspired other influential leaders. The pen is indeed much more powerful than the sword. A single sword can’t influence the masses, but the words of an individual surely can.