How to Gain Influence (Part 1)

Today we’re talking about something everyone has and everyone wants more of. That’s influence. John Maxwell says that leadership is influence––nothing more, nothing less. And if you’re going to lead others you need to gain influence. So, today John is going to begin this two-part series on how to gain more influence so that you can up-level your own leadership with those you lead.

For the application portion of the episode, Mark Cole and Chris Goede discuss John’s lesson and offer some ways in which you can apply these principles to your own leadership!

Our BONUS resource for this series is the “How to Gain Influence Worksheet,” which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.


Mark Cole:       Hey, podcast family. Welcome to the John Maxwell Leadership Podcast. The podcast that adds value to leaders who will multiply value to others. My name is Mark Cole.

I'm excited today, because we're going to talk about something that everyone has, but everyone wants more of it. And that's influence. See, John Maxwell says that leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. And if you're going to lead others, you need to gain influence every single day.

Today, John's going to begin this two-part series on how to gain more influence. Then, I and my co-host Chris Goede will be back to discuss John's lesson and offer some ways, some ideas, some experiences of which we have had, so that you can apply these principles to your own leadership.

As always, we have a free fill in the blank worksheet that we call our Bonus Resource. If you would like to fill this out as you listen to John, please go to Click the Bonus Resource button, and then follow along with John. Now, here is John C. Maxwell.

John Maxwell:  Let me ask you a question before I start this. How many of you would like to gain influence in your life? In the lives of others? Have you got this? Okay. What I'm going to do is I'm going to lay out, almost in a sequential pattern ... How to gain influencers by sharing with you how influencers influence people.

We're going to take the word, "Influence." And I'm going to take each one of those letters and I'm going to build off of it. For example, the letter "I". Are you ready? Here we go. An influencer has, the letter "I", integrity with people.

Now, you see the reason I'm building the lesson the way that I am off of each letter is ... By the time I'm done, you will be able to know all 10 points without ever looking back at your notes. Because each letter will represent the next point. An influencer has integrity with people.

Emerson was right, "If we live truly, we shall truly live." I just recently read an article where they interviewed 1,300 executives, of which they asked the executives to list five things that they expected in people that were going up the ladder in their company.

Interestingly enough, integrity was in all 1,300 of them. In other words, they did this all across the country and they said, "Give me five." And in that five, somewhere integrity was in there. In other words, every executive says, "You've got to have integrity or you're never going to climb this ladder."

Now, watch this. What's really interesting is it was in the top five with 100% of the 1,300 executives. Watch this. 71% of them listed it at number one. 71% of the executives across America said the number one issue of anybody that's going to climb this ladder is the issue of integrity.

That's why I have in your notes ... You see it. In the business world, it's acceptable to make mistakes. To lay eggs. Big ones. I've majored in those. But the Center for Creative Research in a significant study learned that one thing that sounds the death knell for those who aspire to the top rung in the ladder is betraying a trust.

Virtually, anything else can be overcome over a period of time. But once trust is betrayed, moving to the top of the ladder is out of the question. It is always easy to do right, when you know ahead of time what you stand for. I want you to write that in your notes somewhere. Would you please?

"It is always easy to do right, when you know ahead of time what you stand for." In other words, integrity is not an issue that puts pressure on us in a crisis, if we already settled the issue before the crisis. The only time we have pressure on an integrity issue is when we never settled the issue before the crisis came.

I'll read it again. It is always easy to do right, when you know ahead of time what you stand for. That is so key. In other words, integrity ... A lot of times I've heard people tell me, they say, "John, a crisis makes the character." No, it doesn't. It just reveals the character.

The character is already made. I don't know what you are, but I'll tell you. Whatever you are, you already are. When the old pressure comes and it hits you ... I promise you. What'll squeeze out of you is what you already determined before that crisis ever came. Integrity. Number one of all influencers.

The letter "N" in the word integrity. Or influence. Well, that's also in integrity, come to think about it. The letter "N" in the word influence stands for an influencer nurtures people. Let's talk about nurturing for moment. Influencers have the ability to nurture others. The length and breadth of our influence upon others depends on the depth of our concern for others.

I want you to know ... Many leaders love their position more than their people. When that happens, leaders soon lose their position. Because you know what happens? The people can tell if you really love them or not. Charles Bukowski was exactly right. "Of course it's possible to love a human being, if you don't know them too long."

Have we seen that? What Charlie Brown said is, "I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." Or I heard this the other day of a mother who said, "I just took my parents back to the airport. They had been visiting me for a few days. I just dropped them off at the airport." She said, "They leave tomorrow."

Or when Narvaez, the Spanish Patriot was dying ... The father confessor came into Narvaez and asked him this question about his relationships. He said, "Have you forgiven all of your enemies?" He looked kind of astonished. He said, "Father." He said, "I have no enemies." He said, "I have shot them all." Already wiped them out. Already wiped them out.

Nurturing. Note this. Few leaders love their people more than their position. When that happens, leaders strengthen their position. Notes on nurturing. Letter A. Nurturing people does not mean needing people. When I talk about a nurturing atmosphere of a leader, I'm not talking about, "You need them."

You have to have ... That's codependency. That's unhealthy. I've said it many times. You've heard me say this. You can't lead people if you need people. Letter B. Nurturing people does mean commitment to people. What nurturing means is not that I need them, but that I'm committed to them. Love will find a way, but indifference will always find an excuse in relationships. Always has, always will.

Letter C. Nurturing people does mean loving people. Nurturing people does mean loving people. Henry Drummond, "You will find, as you look back upon your life, that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love."

Letter D. Nurturing people does mean lifting people to a higher level. Now, that's what I'm speaking about. Nurturing. An atmosphere that allows people to grow. Influencers. We've learned two things about an influencer. An influencer does two things.

One, has integrity with people. Number two, nurtures people. You ready for the F? An influencer has faith in people. An influencer has faith in people. They have a high belief system in the people that are around them. Every man is entitled to be valued at his very best moments.

I learned a long time ago ... Assets make things possible and people make things happen. You can have all the assets in the world, but if you don't have the people around you and the belief in them, then you're going to be in trouble.

In leading others, there are three feelings that we cannot possess. One is fear. Two is dislike. Three is contempt. If we are afraid of people, we cannot handle them. If we dislike people, we shouldn't lead them. And if we look down on people, we will not respect them. How true. How true that is.

Les Giblin, an authority on human relations, says that our actions must be genuine. You can't make the other fellow feel important in your presence if you secretly feel that he's a nobody. Now, let's talk about that for just a second. Because what I find is a lot of people come to me.

Because they're not good on the inside, they're not right on the inside, they have results that they don't care for and that confound ... They'll come to me and they'll say, "John, I'm doing this. I'm going through these motions or I'm taking these actions. And yet, I'm not getting the outcome."

Here's what I usually find. If you're doing things right on the outside, but you're not getting the right results ... It's because there's something wrong on the inside. What you're doing is you are sending signals to people that are not backing your words. They can read it. They can intuitively feel it.

They know when you really are sincere. They know when ... The expression that I hate is, "Fake it till you make it." But what I say is, "Be remade." Quit faking it. Because what happens is that's where we lack. Not only in integrity, but what also happens is people can tell when you really do believe in them.

There's a whole new level that people rise to once they understand that you truly do believe in them. I have found in my life that the reason I get such good, positive results from people is because I believe people have great value. I respect them highly. I believe that they want to contribute to life.

They can just read that in me. It just bleeds through. And so, therefore they respond accordingly. That's why we've got to always go on the inside. Remember this. Whenever there are outside problems, it's because there's something on the inside that's not right.

It's always an inside issue. It's very seldom an outside issue. I learned a long time ago ... You get the inside right, the outside comes out fine. But the inside has to be right. Faith in people, true faith and believing in people, is one of the real essentials in influencing.

The letter "L". An influencer listens to people. And I want to talk to you a little bit about listening, because it's so key in leadership and influence. Paul Tillich said that, "The first duty of love is to listen." This is some good stuff on listening. In your notes here, I have a quiz for you to take.

Are you a good listener? Number one. Do I allow the speaker to finish without interrupting? Just go ahead and help yourself. Number two. Do I listen between the lines for the subtext? In other words, for what really they're saying. Number three. Do I actively try to retain important facts?

Number four. When writing a message, do I listen for and set down the key facts and phrases? Number five. Do I repeat the details of the interview to the subject in order to get everything right? Number six. Do I avoid getting hostile or agitated when I disagree with the speaker?

Don't worry. I'm not going to ask for scores. I can tell some of you are already breaking the records. Number seven. Do I tune out distractions when listening? Or maybe a better way to put that ... Am I a distraction when listening?

Number eight. Do I make an effort to seem interested in what the other person is saying? Those are good questions. Aren't they? Eight of them. Just to kind of help you on your listening check up. Okay. Good stuff.

Mark Cole:       Hey. Welcome back. As John was teaching today, I thought of Ken Blanchard's quote. He says, "The key to successful leadership today is influence not authority."

Today, Chris, as you and I get to unpack this powerful word that John has really popularized in his definition of leadership ... Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. Here we are.

Now, John's going to take us on a two-week journey on the acrostic of influence. I tell you. Just in the first four points, I'm sitting here and going, "Man, I've got a lot of work to do." I've been with John for 21 years, but I've got a lot of work to do. Here we go. That's what the point of the podcast is.

Chris Goede:     That's it, right?

Mark Cole:       Work to do.

Chris Goede:     I think you and I have probably learned as much as some of our listeners out there do, by just going through this together with our team and this content. The first thing I thought about is, I'm extremely passionate about ... The Five Levels of Leadership is what we call it now.

But back when John created it in Developing the Leader Within You, the chapter or the model was The Five Levels of Influence. As I thought about what he was talking about right here, there's so many competencies that fit into that model. I as well as you were like, "I've got some work to do."

The first thing I want to talk about as we jump in is ... If you're driving, don't do it while you're driving. But I hope you go back and listen to right now what John said, which was, "It's always easy to do right ahead of time, when you know what you stand for."

We're going to jump in and talk about this first one in integrity. And I wrote that down as I was sitting here and we were listening to it. Because I think you and I and many people that are listening have seen many leaders that don't have integrity, that have incredible talent, kind of fizzle out.

John even says, "71% of the executives in a survey said, one of the biggest issues of climbing the ladder is having integrity if you want to do it." And then, if you're going to fall short, it's because you don't have integrity.

You've seen a lot of leaders, organizations around the world, with John. But also, internally. Talk a little bit about the importance of that word for you. In leadership and even in your leaders, and what that looks like around the John Maxwell enterprise.

Mark Cole:       I love this. Truly, we could forget that John covered three other points and we could camp out right here on integrity.

Chris Goede:     We could.

Mark Cole:       I think it's so important. Most of you in podcast land know I've had two great opportunities to work for two great leaders. My father and then John Maxwell. I was tasked or picked to carry the legacy of both.

One, I focused a lot more on external leadership. Image. What people thought of me in my younger attempt to lead. And then, more importantly, recently to focus on the inside. I'll come back to that, because I have a resource I want to point everybody to in just a moment.

But I'm sitting here with integrity. I do think it comes into having the foresight of knowing what you want to be known for. And then, leading to that point.

Chris Goede:     That's a good point.

Mark Cole:       Now, you mentioned that you and I love sports. We're not big Tom Brady fans, but that's another conversation. Recently, in the playoffs ... I was watching Tom Brady, the Buccaneers, pick apart yet another team. I won't say them, for some of our friends and podcast family from that city.

But the commentators were talking about ... They had an interview that week with Tom Brady. He said, "I always know where I'm going to throw the ball before I touch it." He previews the defense. He knows the game plan of what he called in the huddle.

Chris Goede:     That's so good.

Mark Cole:       He may make some adjustments, but he already knows where he's going with the ball before he says, "Hike," and the center puts it in his hands. Now, let's take that analogy from one of the greatest, if not the greatest ... Yes, you heard me say that. One of the greatest in his profession of football.

He knows where he is going to throw it before he touches the ball. What if we, as leaders, knew what kind of leader we wanted to be before we started leading and as we started leading? Before we caught the ball, got the ball for the next assignment. What if we already envisioned the integrity with which we wanted to lead and how we wanted to be perceived?

Coming back to that, Chris. For me, again, two opportunities to lead. It's been a much more sustainable and less pressurized journey to know how I wanted to lead from the inside on the second opportunity than it was on the first opportunity, where I was figuring it out as we go.

There was no integrity on the first one. It is trying to build it completely on integrity, the second one. How does a leader do that? I'll take you to a book that I read before my first opportunity and a book I read before my second opportunity. It's the first John Maxwell book that I read. Happened to have it with me in the studio, which is Developing the Leader Within You.

Chris Goede:     Look at that.

Mark Cole:       This is, in my opinion ... We all have our favorites out of John's 86 books. In my opinion, this is the most impacting book of any leader that is taking on a new assignment. In my opinion, this book is all about the inside of leadership. The inside of a leader. Therefore, it's about integrity.

I just couldn't pass this up, by looking at all of you at the beginning of 2022 and saying, "When is the last time you've read this book?" And if you haven't read this book to go, "What? You don't even know John Maxwell if you haven't read this book." Because really, Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 is one of John's favorite books.

Chris, as you know, we have a digital product along this book. It's John teaching 10 lessons. 15 to 20 minutes. Fill in the blank notes. It's stuff you can pass on to your team. It's a digital product. Jake, I want to give them a discount to take advantage of that. We'll give you a 20% discount.

Jake, make that happen. You can go to the show notes and we'll have the link there. When you go to that link, obviously put in the keyword, "Podcast," and we'll give you a 20% discount. But again, back to this idea of integrity. I really do believe ... I'm so glad John started with this.

Because again, this was my first Maxwell book. I read it. I consumed it. I loved it. Forgot about it. This time, Chris, I read this ... If not once every year, once every two years. I consume it. I teach from it all the time. The person that I teach the most about this content is myself.

Chris Goede:     I love it.

Mark Cole:       Because it's who we are.

Chris Goede:     And if you're unfamiliar with the Five Levels of Influence I mentioned, it is in the first chapter of that book right there. As Mark mentioned, as you begin to think about your leadership journey and where you want to go ... Not only personally, but even just professionally in the organization, that integrity's got to be there.

And I love what you talked about with Tom Brady. For both of us and some of our team members it's not sitting well for us to talk about this on a podcast ... But the problems that he encounters after the snap of the ball do not matter to him.

Mark Cole:       No.

Chris Goede:     Because if you have integrity, you're equipped for the challenges ahead. You know the decisions you're going to make. Leaders, we're going to face challenges. We know that.

We've all been through 24 months of challenges. There have been challenges before that. There will be challenges ahead of us. And so, we need to be ready for that.

Mark Cole:       Let me say one more thing on that, because we talked about sports. We're obviously in a leadership podcast. A business podcast. John tells the story of one of the most scariest times he's ever traveled on a plane. He got down and right as they were landing, the wind shear hit.

That's happened to a lot of us. I can tell you my one or two times of losing everything I had in an experience like that. He said that plane popped on the ground. Because the wind shear popped it. Immediately, that pilot pulled it back up. When they got off, he hugged the pilot.

He said, "Man. How did you figure out? How did you know? When did you make the decision to pull that back up?" He said, "I made that decision 20 years ago. In training, I learned over and over again. Wind shear hits? It's safer for a plane in the air than on the ground in a bunch of chaotic wind."

Chris Goede:     That's so good.

Mark Cole:       And so, we as leaders. Hey. Make the decision today, what you're going to do in the next challenge. For us, 2020. Infamous leading through COVID. We made a decision many, many years ago. We're going to value people.

When COVID hit, we made all of our decisions ... Not based on how many millions was at risk, how many millions could be lost ... On how many lives could be impacted and added value to, by making the decision this way or that way.

We made that decision a long time ago. Because people say, "When did you make the decision to cancel IMC?" A six million dollar risk decision that we made. We made that years ago, when we decided we were going to add value to people.

Chris Goede:     Yep. Before we move on, real quick ... Because to your point, we could talk about this first topic the whole time.

Mark Cole:       Sure.

Chris Goede:     One of the things I just ... In addition to making decisions and solving problems, one of the things that John talked about in there, I don't want you to miss this ... When you lead with integrity, you have that trust.

As we think about our engagement level in organizations, as we think about our teams being engaged ... One of the things that really stands out to me is that 81% of team members say that their leader is why they're engaged.

But the reason why they're engaged is because they trust their leader. The only way they're going to trust you, the only way we're going to trust each other peer-to-peer, is if we have integrity and we live out that on a day-to-day basis.

Mark Cole:       Yep.

Chris Goede:     Well, let me move on. There's a couple more points you and I talked about that I just want to go into. John talks about an influencer nurtures people. When we hear the word, "Nurturing," we don't necessarily think of a leader right away. Do we?

This is ... We use the word, "Soft." That may come across to you as, "I don't want to be a nurturing leader." It's not easy, by the way. It may be soft, but it is not easy. John goes on to say, "It does mean a commitment to your people. It does mean loving your people."

I will tell you this. As long as you and I have worked together and worked with John ... There is no doubt that he nurtures as a leader to those that are on his team, in his influence. Talk a little bit about, from your perspective as a leader, the importance of that. Again, I'm air hashtagging right here. Nurturing of people.

Mark Cole:       You got it. First of all, let me say this to all you podcast listeners. You need to jump on YouTube and check out the Maxwell Leadership podcast.

Google ... Or not Google it. YouTube search it and you'll find us. You've got to see how nurturing it feels to see Chris go to use air-

Chris Goede:     In a pink shirt.

Mark Cole:       ... A pink shirt.

Chris Goede:     But it's February.

Mark Cole:       It's February. Happy Valentine's Day to you, Chris.

Chris Goede:     That's right.

Mark Cole:       This has been more pronounced to me in John Maxwell's leadership over the last two or three years than in any other time. I wouldn't have started 21 years ago and said, "Man, that John Maxwell. He's a nurturing leader."

Chris Goede:     Right.

Mark Cole:       Now, he's always been a valuing people, loves everybody, every feels welcome ... You don't work for me. You work with me. He says nurturing things in his sleep. He's just great at it. But it has really become obvious to me, Chris, over the last three years when he first found his word for the year to be, "Father."

There is this pride. John wrote me a card over the holidays. In his year-end review, he writes cards based on impact moments that he had. He then pulls out a note card, right in the impact moment, and writes a Thank You note. It's a brilliant idea. I'm going to teach on it in a podcast, because I'm going to steal it.

Chris Goede:     That's a good idea.

Mark Cole:       Because it's a great idea. I got one of those and I just opened it this weekend. Been traveling, just opened my mail. I had this thing from John. He said, "My most proud thing I've done this year is to watch you do your thing." He said of all the things that we've accomplished ... 2021 was a great year for all of us, Chris, including you and your team.

He said, "Of all the things I'm proud of, of all the things that just made me swell with pride and thanksgiving ... It was watching you lead to the next level." Now, I don't believe those were just nice words. I think that was the nurturing father side of John Maxwell. This was real pronounced to me.

Just an hour before walking in the studio, John and I are doing a consulting arrangement with a group from Mexico. ZFRA. Powerful, powerful leaders. These young people are fired up, and they're asking these questions of John and I. John's going to throw one or two of them my way. And so, I'm ready. I go gang busters with my answers.

I'm just like this, my YouTube family. I'm just like this. I'm fired up, ready to go. John just pauses and there's this love and this thing. You're going ... Number one. His answers are always good, but you don't even have to answer correctly. I just feel a warm embrace right now.

One was asking, "How do I stop failing and disappointing people around me?" And I've got three reasons and why passion is going to do it. John just slows down and it's less about his words than it is about his demeanor. Leaders, if I could help you and I could help me ...

Chris Goede:     That's so good.

Mark Cole:       If I could help me, right here. If you will nurture with your persona, with your attitude, with your presentation ... It'll go further and last longer than your wise, passionate words.

And I'm still learning that. I'm not a nurturing leader. I have this hard charge. "If I can fire you up, we're going to get it done." John just goes, "Man. If I can make you believe in yourself, you're going to get it done."

Chris Goede:     When you're just talking about that, I was like, "I know that I'm tied ..." I tied that to a comment he made. Even in your show notes here, he says, "Nurturing people does mean lifting people to a higher level."

There's a lot of complexity that comes to lifting your people to a higher level. But even in just that illustration of him, answering that question. By slowing down and understanding, "Hey. You're not always going to get approval from people. You're not going to make them happy." And then, just talk through that from a demeanor. You lift people up.

Mark Cole:       Let me say this. In leadership, in leadership, in leadership ... I'm not talking to you as a mom, over your family. Or a dad working through a troubled teen. I'm talking about in leadership. And that has elements of leadership. There's a big difference in nurturing and enabling.

Chris Goede:     Yes. Yes.

Mark Cole:       Many leaders feel like, "If I nurture, than I am enabling you or empowering you to less than." That's not true. Back to your quote of John, "Nurturing is continuing to lift them to a higher level." But it's not kicking them in the butt to do it. It's lifting them from the heart to do it.

Chris Goede:     Totally agree. Hey. One thing I thought about here as well. When John talks about that, "Nurturing does mean loving people." One of the things that you and I are extremely excited about is our league of extraordinary leaders.

Joel Manby, a powerful executive in the corporate world, has actually partnered with us and just done, off of his book, a digital content called Love Works. We went back and forth and we said, "Do we include that word in the title?"

We said, "Man, absolutely. We have to." Because that's just part of leading people. And so, he puts together seven principles. A better way to lead and to love your people. And so, that's in the show notes. There's a link there. That's coming out in February, again.

Mark Cole:       Didn't you say there's eight components that he does?

Chris Goede:     There's nine.

Mark Cole:       Nine.

Chris Goede:     There's nine video sessions, but seven principles.

Mark Cole:       Yep.

Chris Goede:     Got to check it out. It'll go along with my pink shirt, celebrating Valentine's Day.

Mark Cole:       Happy Valentine's Day.

Chris Goede:     That's right.

Mark Cole:       Love does work. Love works at work and love will work in your relationship.

Chris Goede:     It works good.

Mark Cole:       So proud of that. Thank you for mentioning that.

Chris Goede:     Absolutely. Last point here and we're going to wrap it up. But this is probably something we need to talk about before we wrap up. We were talking right before we got on the air here.

Jared Cagle, an incredible part of our team, was saying, "Hey. That whole nurturing and then John's last point of being able to listen to people, to gain influence, or to be an influencer? Man, there's such a direct connection."

Here's what I was thinking about. To validate his point, you just gave us an example of John sitting on that phone call, when you guys are mentoring and consulting with this organization. He's just sitting there listening and he's soaking it all up.

He says in here, he gives us ... I think there's eight questions to do a little self-assessment. By the way, I don't know about you. But the longer we have led, the longer we've been around, the more unaware we become of our listening skills.

Now, if Stephanie and Sarah, our spouses, were here ... We would lose the mics right here. We would talk a lot about them. Knowing that we hear them, we don't really listen to them.

Mark Cole:       We would actually have a technical glitch, because Jake would help us out right here and cut it off.

Chris Goede:     Jake would cut it off. But I just want to get transparent here for a minute. And I want to say, man, these questions are powerful. You and I admitted that we learned a lot from these lessons from John, even in our leadership, and being around for John over 20 years.

There's eight here. I have an answer of which one I struggle with the most. But I'd love to hear from you. When you look through this, I want you to talk a little bit about the two that you struggle with and why.

Mark Cole:       Only two?

Chris Goede:     Only. Because you and I narrowed them down from eight to six. And I got to the two.

Mark Cole:       Probably, Chris, as I look at the eight ... There really are several that we talked about prerecording. Do I repeat ... It's number five in the list in your show notes. Again, let me challenge all of you watching or listening. You want to go get these show notes that our team prepares for you.

It'll help you consume the content better. It'll help you share the content with others. But number five in the notes says, "Do I repeat the details of an interview or a conversation in order to get everything right?" And I can tell you, that's not even 25% of the time.

One in four times, I'm not sitting here repeating it to make sure I got it. Because it seems like such a waste of time. We're adults, number one. I feel like I insult your intelligence if I go, "Now, what I heard you say is ..."

Chris Goede:     It's active listening, like we all learned. Right?

Mark Cole:       Yeah. We've heard active listening, but in a professional setting and all that ... Even in a personal setting, back to if Sarah and Stephanie were here, but I really don't do that.

And I don't do that well. What happens many times is I am responding to my interpretation, not to their intention.

Chris Goede:     That's good. That's good.

Mark Cole:       I really do challenge myself after listening to this and after you asking this question and us agreeing to have this vulnerable conversation here. I really do think that repeating back before responding ... My challenge is twofold.

One is I think I insult your intelligence. Two, I think that it wastes time and I don't have much time.

Chris Goede:     Right. Get on with it.

Mark Cole:       But three, I think that I will forget my wonderful response on the fly. And I probably need to forget some of my wonderful responses on the fly, because half of them feel like they were on the fly.

And so, I think by repeating it before I form an answer ... Because I'm telling you, halfway through your question, I'm already forming the answer to what I think you're saying.

Chris Goede:     That's right.

Mark Cole:       Every leader does that. And if you don't, you do too. I'm just telling you.

Chris Goede:     They're just not admitting it.

Mark Cole:       Halfway through your question, I'm forming my answer. And if I will wait to form my answer when I make sure that we are settled on your point or your question ... I promise you. My response will be better, more relevant, and you will accept it more. Because I listened and repeated back.

Chris Goede:     That's good.

Mark Cole:       The second one would be number six. Do I avoid getting hostile or agitated when I disagree with the speaker? And I had to pick that one, because you mentioned Stephanie being in the studio with me.

Because when I know that I know that I'm right, which is all the time ... When I am confident that I am right, and I can't move people enough ... It's not that I disrespect their answer, their position, or how much love I have for them.

I disrespect how much time that it's going to take for us to get on the agreement. It's not fair. It's not right. It's terrible. It's confession time. I'm done. I need to go see my pastor or my priest, whatever. I got to go get somebody else.

Chris Goede:     Well, I'm sorry, Mark. We ran out of time. I can't share mine after that. We're good. No, I appreciate you sharing that. Because I think so many of us ... Each of these eight, if we're being honest with ourselves, we need to go to work on these.

Remember. We're talking about, "How do we gain influence?" John says, "Here's eight great questions around listening." For me, it's really the second one. Which is, "Do I listen between the lines for the subtext?" A lot of times, I'll take at face value what is being said.

I'm very logical. Very concrete. What are they trying to tell me? Am I listening in a way to be curious enough to understand their perspective of where it's coming from? Because we would probably communicate it a little bit differently. I don't think I do a good enough job with that.

And so, Mark and I were just convicted by these questions. And so, we wanted to share that with our listeners. Man, we're so grateful. I want to throw it back to you to let you wrap this up and finish today's lesson.

Mark Cole:       Well, here's the standout statement that we want to leave you with today. The best way to influence people is to value them. We're talking about influence. Four points this week, six points next week. We're really wanting to dig deeper into this concept. Everything rises and falls on leadership.

Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. How do we influence? The best way to influence is start by valuing people. Start by taking that moment. There's a very relevant episode that we've done that I want to direct you to. It's in your show notes, it's called Your Influence Inventory.

Do a checkup. Go back and listen to that podcast this week. Do a checkup on how you're doing in your influence quotient, and how you can grow that become more influential. I'm reminded of a listener comment that we got. This is incredible. From Laura. Laura talked about the episode Gold Conscious Versus Growth Conscious.

She said, "We can choose to go back towards safety, or forward towards growth. Today, I choose to get better and grow in every area of my life. Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. Today, I will start reading my book. Small wins, small steps help us achieve our goals. Let's focus on growth and everything will fall in place."

If you know Laura, and she's a listener to the podcast, ask her if she's still reading that book. Thank you, Laura. Thanks all of you. Hey, Chris, can't wait for next week. I love this journey of influence. I love this journey of leadership. We love ... It's Valentine's Day, so there's a lot of love.

We love all of you that watch us on YouTube. All of us that listen. We love you even more, if that's possible ... We love you even more when you send us a comment. Let us know how we're doing. We love you even more when you forward this podcast to others, so that they too can be impacted. Until next week. Let's listen. Let's learn. Let's love. Then, let's lead.

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