Becoming a Person of Influence by John Maxwell

very man is a hero and an oracle to somebody, and to that person, whatever he says has an enhanced value.

No matter what you tell you children to do, their natural inclination is to follow what they see you doing. For most people, if they perceive that you are positive and trust worthy and have admirable qualities, then they will seek you as an influence in their lives.
More often than not, they are influence not by the actual individual, but by the image of that person. And that image may not be an accurate representation of that actress, politician, sports figure, or entertainer. Nonetheless, they admire that person and are influence by the actions and attitudes they believe that person represents.
You can be a model to the masses, but to go to the higher levels of influence, you have to work with individuals.
The power of mentoring is so strong that you can actually see the lives of the persons you are influencing change before your eyes. As you give of yourself, helping them overcome obstacles in their lives and showing them how to grow personally and professionally, you can help them achieve a whole new level of living. You can truly make a difference in their lives.
The parents who know how and when to give their children grace help them to stay open and communicative, even during their teenage years.
the only inheritance that a man will leave that has eternal value is his influence.
though many errors and obstacles can be overcome by a person who wants to rise to the top of an organization, that person is almost never able to move up in the organization if he compromises his integrity by betraying a trust.
One of the reasons many people struggle with integrity issues is that they tent to look outside themselves to explain any deficiencies in character.
In ancient times, brick makers, engravers, and other artisans used a symbol to mark the things they created to show that they were the makers. The symbol that each one used was his “character.” The value of the work was in proportion to the skill with which the object was made. And only if the quality of the work was high was the character esteemed. In other words, the quality of the person and his work gave value to his credentials. If the work was good, so was the character. If it was bad, then the character was viewed as poor.
Thomas Jefferson – “God grant that men of principle shall be our principal men.”
Some hogs were assembled for a feeding, and a farmer was filling their trough to the brim. One hog turned to the others and asked, “Have you ever wondered why he’s being so good to us? A person of integrity influences others because he wants to bring something to the table that will benefit them – not put them on the table to benefit himself.
**Decide Ahead of Time That You Don’t Have a Price**
George Washington – “few men have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
William James – “Everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for the practice.
Don Meyer – “John, it is always easy to do right when you know ahead of time what you stand for.”
Feeding a dog is the best way to create a relationship with her. It not only provides what the dog needs, giver her life and strength, but it also teaches her to trust and follow you. And in most cases, when you do the feeding, the care you give is returned with loyalty, obedience, and affection.
Eddie responded to love in a way that he never would have to knowledge, psychology, technique, or educational theory. When he knew his teacher card about him, he blossomed.
Don’t ever assume that people know how you feel about them.
That woman’s neighbor understood that people respond to respect. In fact, most people will do nearly anything for you if you treat them respectfully. And that means make it clear to them that their feelings are important, their preferences are respected, and their opinions are valuable. It means giving them the benefit of the doubt. Or as poet-philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “Every man is entitled to be valued by his best moments.”
Many young people today have never experience a deep emotional attachment to anyone. They do not know how to love and be loved. The need to be loved translates itself into the need to belong to someone or something. Driven by their need… they will do anything to belong.
For most people, it’s not what they are that holds them back. It’s what they think they are not.
Writer Mark Twain warned, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” How do most people feel when they’re around you? Do they feel small and insignificant, or do they believe in themselves and have hope about what they can become?
If you need people, you cannot lead them.
**Most People Don’t Have Someone Who Has Faith in Them**
In our society today, most people feel isolated. The strong sense of community that was once enjoyed by most Americans has become rare.
For many people, even those who are closest to them don’t believe in them. They have no one on their side.
**Most People Can Tell When Someone Has Faith In Them**
People’s instincts are pretty good at knowing when others have faith in them. They can sense if your belief is genuine or phony. And truly having faith in someone can change her life.
As you work to become a person of influence, always remember that your goal is not to get people to think more highly of you. It’s to get them to think more highly of themselves. Have faith in them, and they will begin to do exactly that.
**Most People Will Do Anything to Live Up to Your Faith in Them**
Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstances.
Edgar Watson Howe – “No man would listen to you talk if he didn’t know it was his turn next.”
While it’s true that the higher you go, the less you are required to listen to others, it’s also true that your need for good listening skills increases. The farther you get from the front lines, the more you have to depend on others to get reliable information.
In fact, a representative of 3M said the number one resource for product ideas was customer complaints.
A funny thing happens when you don’t make a practice of listening to people. They find others who will.
Most people tend to speak about 180 words a minute, but they can listen at 300 to 500 words a minute.
don’t feel that one of you has to be speaking all the time. Periods of silence give you a chance to reflect on what’s been said so that you can respond appropriately.
  1. Listen with a head-heart connection
  2. Listen with the intent of understanding
  3. Listen for the message and the message behind the message
  4. Listen for both content and feelings.
  5. Listen with your eyes – your heart will be improved.
  6. Listen for others interest, not just their position.
  7. Listen for what they are saying and not saying.
  8. Listen with empathy and acceptance.
  9. Listen for the areas where they are afraid and hurt.
  10. Listen as yo would like to be listened to.
**Determine the need at the moment**
The biggest mistake you can make in trying to talk convincingly is to put your highest priority on expressing your ideas and feelings. What most people really want is to be listened to, respected, and understood. The moment people see that they are being understood, they become more motivated to understand your point of view.”
As you learn more about people and get to know others well, you soon begin to realize that people have a lot in common. We all have hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, victories and problems.
There isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t have the desire to be someone, to have significance. Even the least ambitious and unassuming person wants to be regarded highly by others.
To be an influence, you have to love people before you try to lead them. The moment that people know that you care for and about them, the way they feel about you changes. Showing others that you care isn’t always easy. Your greatest times and fondest memories will come because of people, but so will your most difficult, hurting, and tragic times. People are your greatest assets and your greatest liabilities. The challenge is to keep caring about them no matter what.
*People favor underdogs but follow only hot dogs – fight for the few underdogs anyway.
*If better is possible, then good is not enough.
when you help one person, you’re really impacting a lot of other people. What you give to one person overflows into the lives of all the people that person impacts.
Most people are funny; they want to get ahead and succeed, but they are reluctant to change. They are often willing to grow only enough to accomodate their problems; instead, they need to grow enough to achieve their potential.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance. It is the allusion of knowledge.
Give your best mentoring effort to people who have the greatest potential – the ones for whom you can see a promising future – not the ones for whom you feel sorry. Nurture, love, and motivate hurting people. But pour yourself into the people who will grow and make a difference.
People love to be encouraged and motivated, so you don’t need their consent to either one. But the mentoring process really works only when both parties know the agenda, agree to it, and give it 100 percent effort.
Gian Carlo Menotti – “Hell begins on that day when God grants us a clear vision fo all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts we wasted, of all that we might have done that we did not do.”
“The real contest is always between what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing.
“Don’t let yourself be pressured into thinking that your dreams or your talents aren’t prudent. They were never meant to be prudent. They were meant to bring joy and fulfillment into your life.
the goal of all teachers should be to equip students to get along without them.
Ann Landers – “Each of us is a little lonely, deep inside, and cries to be understood. I have learned how it is with the stumbling, tortured people in this world who have nobody to talk to.” “I have learned that financial success, academic achievement, and social or political status open no doors to peace of mind or inner security.”
**What do they cry about?
**What do they sing about?
**What do they dream about?
**Where They Need To Go
**What They Need to Know
**How They Need to Grow
people react in one of four ways under difficult circumstances:
1) Retreat into the past
2) Daydream about the future
3) Retreat within and wait for someone to rescue them
4) Face the crisis and transform it into something useful
Fortunately, you don’t have to be an engineer to connect with people, but it does take effort to make connection happen. You’ll need communication skills, a desire to help people grow and change, and a sense of personal mission or purpose – after all you have to know  where you’re going to take others along
Anytime you devalue people, you question God’s creation of them.” You can never tell people too often, too loudly, or too publicly how much you love them.
To understand a person’s mind, examine what he has already achieved. To understand his heart, look at what he aspires to do. That will help you find the key, and once you do find it, use it with integrity. Turn the key only when you have the person’s permission, and even then use that key only for his benefit, not your own – to help, not to hurt.
Melvin Maxwell – “I never conciously limited you as a long as I knew what you were doing was morally right.” Now, that’s an empowering attitude.
What a shame it would be to have a ministry die on the vine when one man leaves.
Truett Cathy – “The number one reason leaders are unsuccessful is their ability to lead themselves.”
J. Carla Northcutt – “The goal of many leaders is to get people to think more highly of the leader. The goal of a great leader is to help people to think more highly of themselves.”

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