How to Gain Influence (Part 2)

This week we are finishing up our series on How to Gain Influence. John Maxwell is going to teach you six more ways to grow your influence as a leader and make a greater impact with more people.

After John’s lesson, Mark Cole and Chris Goede will be back to discuss John’s lesson and offer some ways for you to 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:       Welcome to the John Maxwell Leadership Podcast, the podcast that adds value to leaders who multiplies value to others. My name is Mark Cole, and today we are finishing our series on how to gain influence. Today in part two, John Maxwell is going to teach you six more ways to grow your influence as a leader. Then after John's lesson, I and my co-host Chris Goede will be back to discuss John's lesson and other ways for you to apply these principles to your leadership. If you would like to download our bonus resource, which is a fill in the blank worksheet from John's lesson, please go to Click the bonus resource button and fill in the blanks as Dr. John Maxwell teaches. Here is John.

John Maxwell:  The letter U, are you ready for that one? An influencer understands people an influencer understands people. In the book Climbing the Executive Ladder is this paragraph. Few things will pay you bigger dividends than the time and trouble you take to understand people. Almost nothing will add more to your stature as an executive or a person. Nothing will give you a greater satisfaction or bring you more happiness.

To understand the mind of a person, look at what he has already achieved or she has. To understand the heart of a person, look at what he or she has dreams of becoming. So those are the two things, to search their mind, look at what they're achieving, to search their heart, look what they're dreaming of about. Norman Wright who's a wonderful friend of mine says that there are two basic reasons why relationships fail.

Number one is fear, which causes us to erect barriers and number two is selfishness, which causes us to obviously focus on ourself instead of others. And if either one of those are there, understanding cannot materialize. Three vital qualities that enable us to develop lasting understanding relationships, number one is genuineness, enables us to be ourselves without a facade. Number two is non possessive love. It enables us to accept a person as they are.

And number three is empathy which enables us to feel with that other person. So true, isn't it? Number six, an influencer... Let me say something about the first five first before I go to six. The first five, integrity with people, nurturing people, faith in people, listening to people and understanding people, the first five deals with your attitude. Go to the bank on this. All five of these things are certainly attainable and achievable and they're basically attitude.

They're seeds of attitude. The last five steps, now I'm going to give you an influence deal with action steps. And again, you can see how this is flowing. You can see how this is building. It starts with integrity, then nurturing, then faith, then listening, then understanding. Number six, an influencer, letter E, enlarges people. In other words, the great influencers people become bigger because of them.

In fact, one of the greatest ways to attest your ability as a leader is to look around the people that have been around you and ask a very simple question, are they growing? Are they a bigger person today or are they a smaller person today? Now very simple. The question is, how do you grow an organization? It's very simple, you grow people. How many times have I said that? You grow people. Once you grow people, you grow an organization.

But how do you grow people? You grow yourself. And that's where the key is. The moment that you grow yourself, then you can grow the people that are around you. Until that happens, you can't enlarge people. And Alan Loy McGinnis, I don't know if you've ever read any his stuff, but he has some good books on relationships. Okay, you've read it. I can see, okay. Alan Loy McGinnis says there is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being, to help someone succeed. I believe that.

As a leader, the moment that you begin to add value to others, as a leader, it will incredibly change your life. Are you building your business for people to add value to you, or are you building your business to add value to people? I many times confronted pastors with that issue. Are you going in and mobilizing people to use their gifts in the church so that it helps you and the church or are you going in there and helping them mobilize their gifts so it can help them?

Here's what I learned a long time ago. If you do it to help you, it'll be short lived because sooner or later, people will understand what your motivation is and they'll give up on you. But if you do it to help them, then you'll never get tired of doing it. In fact, let me tell you the difference. If you do it to add value to others, what happens is when they come alongside of you, if you do it to add value with others, they'll always come back and add value to you.

But the moment you try to add value to yourself, they'll begin to feel being used. Does that make sense to you? Okay, enlarges people. Number seven, the letter N in the word influence, an influencer navigates for people. And I want to talk to you now about problem solving. I want to talk to you a little bit about mentoring, just a little bit here.

In a little bit of whitewater rafting I've done, one of the things I've always found to be interesting is the person that navigates for us, there are a couple things that I know about them and the fact that before they ever let you get on that water, they tell you very earnestly that when they say paddle, you paddle, when they say bail, you bail and don't turn around and say, "Well, I have a question," or, "I have a suggestion that I think."

Because you're going down that water very, very fast and basically they just say, "When I say it, do it." Okay, kind of instant meetings. Second thing I've noticed about them though, is on the roughest rivers that we've taken, I mean the real ones, I mean the real white knuckle trips, we pull over a lot of times because what we do is we pull over to the side and we walk around and climb a mountain or something and look at the river ahead of us.

And I'll say, "Let me show you what you're going to face here pretty soon. This is a very dangerous little whirl pool here." Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's right. That's when you say, "Well, if it's that dangerous, I'll meet you over on the other side." You know what I mean? After you've navigated that, would you mind pulling right over there? I think I'll do a little barbecue while I'm waiting on you.

But what they do is they show you ahead of time the problems you're going to face so that not only they have your attention, so everybody understands what the... And you know what they do? They kind of map out a strategy. Now, when I'm talking about navigating for people, I'm not talking about doing their work, I'm not talking about not letting them have responsibility, what I am talking about though is a leader always sees the problem before anyone else.

Can I tell you something? If everybody around you sees the problem before you, you aren't the leader. Now let me tell you something else. You not only see the problem first, you solve the problem. In fact, basically my leadership style is I see it before anyone else, already solve it and so when I can show it to everybody else before they panic, I say, "And here's how we're going to fix it."

So when I'm talking about navigating for people, what I'm talking about is you come alongside of them and you're to take them through rough territory. You're to take them on some heights that they cannot climb on their own.

And if you're to do all those things, you really have to have a lay of the land, you have to have an understanding, you have to become a problem solver, you have to be able to share the problem with the people, but also share what the solutions are going to be. That's what I'm talking about when I'm talking about bringing somebody alongside of you, navigating for you. Now, what becomes frustrating about that is this.

You can always make the trip faster on your own, always remember that. Whenever a guide decides to take a party, whether it's mountain climbing or down a river, or on a hike into the wilderness, whenever a guide decides to take a party with him or with her, he or she understands very quickly that the trip will be a lot more slow. Thoreau was exactly right. He said, the man who goes alone can start the day but he who travels with another must wait until the other is ready.

That's one of the reasons why many people, many leaders fail to develop leaders because they say, "Well, I could just do it quicker myself." Can I tell you? That's not your goal to do it quicker yourself. Your goal is to be done first. Your goal is when you cross the finish line to have somebody with you. And so therefore you do is you include, bring in, bring around.

I was listening to 60 Minutes, you probably heard this, maybe three or four Sunday nights ago, Mike Wallace was interviewing the guide that survived. I think two guides died, maybe two or three other people died on Mount Everest climb. It was a very interesting interview. I took notes. In fact, I developed a whole lesson out of it. It's just amazing what you can learn if you got a legal pad ready.

And the guide said a couple very interesting things in this interview. Mike Wallace asking him, he said, "Do you think the two guides would have died if they wouldn't have had the party with him?" And the guy said, "Of course not." He said those guides, both those guides have been on this trip so many times. He said they died because the other people were their responsibility. And I thought, "What a great picture of leadership, what an incredible picture of leadership."

And then Mike Wallace asked another question, oh, this is a great one. He said, this hasn't anything to do with the lesson, it's just a great interview. Here we go. Mike Wallace looked at him and said, "Well, let me ask you other question." If you got all this struggle and all this weather and all this danger, he said, "Why do you try to go to the top of Mount Everest?"

And the guy looked at him and he just smiled and kind of leaned back in his chair with this I know something you don't know and he said to Mike Wallace, he said, "It's obvious you've never been to the top." Huh? He said, "Only people at base camp ask that question. Once you've been to the top, you'll never ask that question again." Isn't that a great story?

Okay, navigating for people. I think I've done enough on that. Let's go to C, okay? In the word influence. An influencer connects with people. And I love the word connection, I love it. A tremendous quote here. The easiest kind of relationship for me is with 10,000 people, the hardest is with one. Now what I'm saying is in the area of connecting with people, you never can connect with mass, you always connect with the person. You always connect with the individual.

And influencers have the ability to connect, connecting with people is the missing link with many who are in leadership positions. And let me tell you why it's the missing link. Most people in leadership positions believe... Hang on, I'm going to tell you something, that if I can teach this principle, I want to tell you something, your whole day will be worth it. Here it is. People in leadership positions assume that it's a responsibility of people below them to connect with them. Major error, major mistake.

They say, "Well, wait a minute. I'm the leader. Let them come to me. I mean, I've got this position, I'm waiting. Hey, I'm here. Hey, they know where I am, they could have called me. They could have got on the phone, my goodness sakes. Don't they know who I am? Don't they know where I am? Don't they know... They can know how to find me."

See, people in leadership positions, many times they make a great mistake thinking it's the responsibility of people below them to connect. It is not, never has been, it's our responsibility as the leader to connect with them first. And why is connecting so important? Because connecting with people means that we find their agenda first. Connect by pouring yourself into others. Oh, this is fine, isn't it? Letter E, an influencer, number nine, empowers people.

An influencer has the ability to empower people. Craig said it right. No matter how much, much work you can do, no matter how engaging your personality may be, you will not advance far in business if you cannot work through others. Enlarging a person deals with their individual growth and empowering a person deals with the organizational growth. The whole ability to empower others is a tremendous, tremendous asset that influencers use very well.

Now I wanted to kind of define empowerment. It's used a lot today. It's a very popular word. Let me kind of define what I think empowerment is. It's in your notes, so it's all right there. Empowered means to me seeing the potential of an individual, saying encouraging, empowering words to that person, sharing your power and position and influence with them and showing to others your belief in and power given to that person.

And number four, showing others your belief in them, and that is so key. If you really want to help empower a person, don't tell a person in yourself that they think you think they can do a good job. You get the friends and the family around that person and you begin to build them up in front of their friends and their family. It's the greatest way to empower.

Yesterday I was teaching a lesson, another lesson. It was on four approaches to leadership, and I was talking about different kind of approaches that leaders use. And one of the approaches that I talked about that leaders use is what I call the human assets approach.

In other words, there are some people that use the box approach or the job description approach and some of them will use the expertise or the target approach. But I talked about one of the four, I talked about was the human assets approach, which when I was speaking to the group yesterday afternoon, I shared with them that that is how I basically, not all the time, but probably 70% of the time I lead. I lead through empowerment.

I lead through a high belief in people which allows me to emotionally connect with them, which allows me to share glory with them. In fact, one of my most fun things doing anymore is going to meetings within joy and sitting at a table and watching 90% of the people in that room take the ball and run with it and I just sit there and kind of, "Rah, rah, rah." And that's great, that's wonderful, I'm glad we're doing that and that's exciting. That's the process of empowerment. Getting people to believe in themselves.

Now, this is a classic illustration. The letter R stands for reproduces other people, reproduces other people. When you influence a child, you influence a life. When you influence a parent, you influence a family. When you influence a worker, you influence the company. But when you influence a leader, you influence everyone who looks to him or her for leadership. I want to tell you something.

The people in your group, if you could see them, if you could see them as God sees them and if you could see them as a leader sees them, you would be so amazed at the potential of the people in your group. See, I've learned a long time ago that if you believe high in people and you see potential in people, there are some that will disappoint you, but there are such a small minority compared to those who will help take you to the top.

And I used to tell pastors all the time, there's gold within their pews. And there's gold in them, there are groups. I'm telling you, there really are. Now what happens is this. They have never unearthed it. Do you realize 90% of the people that walk around, 90% of the people that walk around don't even know what they've got inside them themselves?

In other words, here's what you got to understand about a leader. I'm going to talk to you about this just for a second then I'm going to close this baby up. Here's what I believe. As you walk through the crowd and you walk slowly through the lives of people, you got to see them, but you got to see beyond them. You got to see what they are and what they can contribute and what value they really have.

Now, here's what I believe. I believe as you walk with people, your agenda should never be just to see the person. You ought to see the person that they influence. You ought to hear their thinking and listen to them, how they talk, what their heart is, what their dreams are. You need to find the key to every person in your group's life. If I could sit down with you today, and I'd say, "Let's talk about the people in your group."

And in seeing that person I'd say, "Tell me, what's the key to their life? What's the key to their life? What's the key to their life? What's their dream? What makes them tick? What's their greatest joy? What's their greatest sickness? What's their greatest sorrow?" You see, these are things that you ought to know as a leader, because these are the things of which every bit of their work hinges on.

And so as you walk through the crowd, you've got to see them. The greatest thing that ever happens to a leader is when you discover for someone else, I did this lesson in Salt Lake City the other day. I did a lesson called Lifting People to the Highest Level. And in that lesson on Lifting People to the Highest Level, I said, "Every person has within them a seed of greatness."

The issue is not do they have the seed, the issue is who's going to discover it because the one who discovers it, fertilizes it, plants it and waters it is the one that sees the blossoming coming forth and is the one that will receive the credit for it. What turns us? When a baby is born in a hospital, we press our nose against that plate glass window.

And we ooh and awe, I mean that baby's red, wrinkly, baldheaded, and toothless. And we say, "It looks just like uncle Harry." And we say, "Poor uncle Harry." You know what I mean? Now, why are we so excited? We're so excited because that baby represents a dream. But in the process of that baby growing up, by the time they get junior high age, we're ready to trade them in or just give them away. Now what happens? I'll tell you what happens. We see all their faults. We see all their weaknesses. We see all the problems that come along with people.

Because can I tell you something? The greatest joy I'll ever have in life is people, the greatest sorrow you ever have in life is people. The greatest potential that you ever have in life is people. The greatest problems that you'll ever have in life is people. The greatest asset that you'll ever have in your organization is people. The greatest liability that you'll ever have in life is people.

Now what makes the difference between a guy or a gal that can take a group of people and build them up and all of a sudden, build a great business and a person that just has people over there and they just never quite make it? It's very simple. The ones who knows how to build them up, they can find the seed of greatness within that person. And they help that person discover it for themselves and then they fertilize it and water it and watch it grow, that's your only job.

Don't worry about is anybody following me, ask yourself, am I connecting with these people? And am I finding that seed of greatness and am I playing them to their strength? You always play the people's strengths. You always discover their seeds of greatness. And therefore you begin to reproduce in their life. All influencers reproduce.

Mark Cole:       Hey, welcome back. As usual, John finishes as well as he starts. And Chris and I were talking just as we were listening to John today in studio that boy, we could unpack this. I think what you said in your Southern terms, there's gold and then there are hills or something like that.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, something like that.

Mark Cole:       And truly that is today. The standout statement that we want to leave with you is this, just wrap your mind around this, great leaders produce great leaders. That's what influence is all about Chris. And that's what we're attempting to do, that's what John has taught us and here we are, man. I'm glad to be in studio with you.

Chris Goede:     I am glad to be back. This is just an incredible topic for us to talk about. Remember, we define leaders or leadership as influence. And so we talk about this leadership word and we don't want you guys to think it's one or the other, it's both. And it's whether you're leading a team, leading family at home or in your community, or maybe you're just an individual contributor, this is important stuff and we're excited to dive in.

Now, before I get to you, a couple things I was thinking about, John initially talks about the understanding, as an influence, you got to understand people. We often teach in our organization that you've got to know how they're wired. We've all taken personality assessments. You got to understand their learned behaviors that come both from external, from our home, from previous job, but also internally what their learned behaviors are.

And then something that's very important to us is you got to know what their personal values are, not the organizational values, but you want to begin to understand people and to begin to understand their perspective. I want to encourage you to make sure that you're thinking about what that looks like in every single person because that is a little bit different.

The other thing I want to just encourage you is John talks about being genuine when you want to connect with people. So many of us aren't authentic when it comes to connecting with our team and our people and even our family at times. And we really want to encourage you to be authentic because it is a trust accelerator when they trust you and they will connect with you, you'll understand them a little bit better. So that was kind of the first point. Those are some of my takeaways from that.

Mark Cole:       Well, it Goes back to that whole people want you to really be authentic. That goes back to point number one last week, integrity.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, that's right.

Mark Cole:       And, that's how John started it, Chris. And it was such a strong point that he made last week that it bears repeating today. Get that integrity.

Chris Goede:     It's good.

Mark Cole:       A huge part of your leadership of your influence.

Chris Goede:     That's right. Based off that motive, I love it. Now I want to bring up something real quick, especially for those that are joining us via YouTube and if you're listening remotely, while you're working out, driving, whatever it might be. I want you to go back and check out our YouTube version because this is something you had our team do.

And it leads right into when we talk about influencing people and you know what this is, this is our one plan card. Oftentimes he'll quiz us on some of these answers. One of our team members, Chad Johnson's always holding us up on our Team Tuesdays, which we just inform our team.

But John talks about, if you're going to be an influencer, you got to enlarge people and there's got to be growth, we've got to grow people. And I just want to bring to your attention, one of our values and we talk about it a ton is growth. It's the second one on here. And Mark, often you will say, "Hey, I don't care if it is from a financial standpoint, if it's one penny."

Mark Cole:       That's right.

Chris Goede:     I don't care if it's from a communicator standpoint, you communicate one word better, you just want to see that growth. And that just enlarges everybody's mindset also helps from influence. Just talk about the importance of you just quickly just for you, it's just about incremental growth.

Mark Cole:       It is. I don't believe there is a finish line. Our friend Simon Sinek wrote a book The Infinite Game. We believe the infinite game applies to personal growth, business growth. I mean, we've got to always be stretching our stuff. I believe last year's mistakes or accomplishments, all is the ground floor to this year's progress, to the movement that we expect this year. So there's just this, an eight passion for growth.

In fact, Chris, right now, right in the middle of this podcast, we're managing cash more than we have in the last 14 years. I've been John's CEO for 12, 15 years ago. It was just like very much a cash management situation. We're a for-profit business, but here's what precipitated where we are today. And let me just remind you as we now go back upstairs after this and go figure out how to manage some cash.

Last year, we're a for-profit business, last year, I wanted to return more to our investors in distribution than we did the year before. I'm making a statement. Our future is bigger, better and brighter and we're investing literally hundreds of thousands of dollars into our future, infrastructure technology, integrated systems, people.

We are betting on the future, but I don't want to bet on the future at the expense of growth. And so I looked at our team, I looked at all of our finance team and I said, "Hey, we're going to continue investing. We're going to bet on a strong 2022, but let's take care of 2021 business." What is take care of 2021 business? A growth accelerator to disbursements, to distributions, to stockholders.

Now, that's super important to us at the expense of me and you going and having some difficult meetings in a little while. So I want to just challenge all of us, how much does growth mean to you? We love growth around here. We use this, you use this with your clients. Are you betting on your people? Yeah, you say our most important asset is your people, what are you investing in them? Yeah, well we bet on growth.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, sure.

Mark Cole:       We demonstrate growth? We're passionate about it because it shows up on that card, yes. But because it's deep in here, we want to be about growth personally, corporately and community.

Chris Goede:     What I love about that yeah, is it's a lot of times people think about growth is just their personal growth. You just gave us an example. It's across the board and everything that we do, we are looking to grow. The other thing I was thinking about is we probably have a lot of listeners out there that oh man, it's not just us managing cash. Yeah, so I think we probably helped a lot of people out right there with that, yes.

Mark Cole:       We didn't help them, we just helped them realize they're in the rough by themselves.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, that's right. I also to help people all the time we work for the number one leadership expert in the world, we have an incredible culture. We got people problems too, right?

Mark Cole:       That's right.

Chris Goede:     And so we're in this boat together with you guys. So let's jump to this next one. I want to talk a little bit about this because John says, hey, to increase your influence, really you've got to navigate for people. And when you think of the law of navigation, oftentimes as leaders, we go, "Okay, here we go. I'm going to tell you where we're going and how we're going to get there." That's not really what we're talking about here.

Mark Cole:       Right.

Chris Goede:     Give us a little bit from your perspective, the importance of this on increasing your influence.

Mark Cole:       Well, and again, don't forget the of context here. We're talking about influence.

Chris Goede:     That's right.

Mark Cole:       And growing our ability to connect with others and help them get where they want to go. And one of my favorite laws of the 21 laws is the law of navigation. Now in full disclosure let me tell you why. John says of all the leaders that's ever worked for him that I exercise the law of navigation better than any. He doesn't say that about the other 20, I got one. So it becomes my favorite. Okay, Chris, now I may not be any good at it, John just complimented because he couldn't find any other compliments.

Chris Goede:     We'll take it.

Mark Cole:       I'll take it. But in this law of navigation, a leader many times feels like that their responsibility is to chart the course, that's the law of navigation, a leader is more effective, the better they can chart the course. Okay. So we chart the course. When we're talking about influence and John's talking about helping influence an influencer navigates for people, the worst thing we as a leader can do is to come in and navigate for someone else their destination.

Now, should we have an idea? Do leaders still see more and before even when they're developing influence with others? Yes they do. Should I, as a leader, have a recommended course for you, Chris to consider in your development? Absolutely. But once I give recommendations, it's my responsibility to shift from navigating your life to guiding you and letting you be the hero of your plans.

Chris Goede:     It's good.

Mark Cole:       A good friend of ours was at Exchange, an event that you run. We'll talk more about Exchange and if we have any spots for people along the way. By the way, let's put a... in the show notes, we'll put a link for Exchange because I just mentioned it. I don't even know if there's spots Chris.

But anyway, at Exchange last year in Nashville, a friend of ours, Donald Miller came and talked about, he has this incredible concept of the guide, the villain, the hero, and this other character in a story that is kind of this agitator, this villain is what he calls it. And all of us have in us, the ability to do that at certain times.

Well, when you're trying to influence people and you're navigating for them, as John's talking about here, you're simply a guide. You're not a mandate. You're not a dictator, you are a guide to help them get there. And again, I want to make that distinction because so many times we, as leaders, we have this concept, we've got to know the way, go the way, show the way and tell everybody else why they should go our way.

Chris Goede:     That's right.

Mark Cole:       And yet when we're trying to grow and influence people, we become overbearing and ineffective when we try to tell people what they should do with their life. One of mine and you're very, very good friends, he deserves a shout out, he gave me an opportunity to work for John Maxwell 21 years ago, David Hoyt. And he says this all the time and I love it when he calls me, he said, "Hey Mark, I got to tell you, God loves you and I have a wonderful plan for your life."

Chris Goede:     In that order.

Mark Cole:       In that order. And well, it's not always that order. Sometimes it's I have a wonderful plan for your life, by the way, God loves you to get there.

Chris Goede:     That's right.

Mark Cole:       As a leader, we can't do that when we're trying to grow influence with people. We've got to love them and suggest and tweak and recommend, but yet just stay in that guide perspective in that guide persona.

Chris Goede:     What I love about that is John kind of wrapped up the session, talking about man, we have to see beyond the people as they are. And I think oftentimes as leaders we can see and believe in people far greater than they can themselves. And we know where they can go. And so how do we help guide them and understand that and bring that out?

We talk about several of these principles and John wrote an incredible book by the way around a lot of this leaders' greatest return, and he talks about the fact that we can enlarge people and empower people and reproduce and all kind of stuff. But in essence, man, we can see almost more than they can see for themselves. Now we can't navigate to your point. And as we think about it, leaders, we've got to help guide them, allow them to navigate to truly have the impact on them and where they're at.

So man, I absolutely love that and that's a great perspective shift for us as leaders to remember when we think about that. All right, John goes on and he says, "Hey, to increase your influence, to be an influencer, man, you got to connect with people." I love this because John in the five levels of leadership talks about this permission level where people give you the permission that they want to follow you.

In the five levels of influence, he uses the word relationships. But it's not only that, it's also about connecting with them. Adversity connects projects, connect ideas, connect questioning, all kinds of things connect. One of the things that I want to unpack a little bit here that just kind of grab both of us and I'm going to give you an example that I thought of, and then I want you to share some things real life what you're dealing with in this in regards to leadership.

John said so many times leaders think it's the responsibility of those that work, I think he used the word below them, on their team to come to them, to connect with them. I know you said this years ago, you said, "Hey, leaders, you just need to understand that anybody inside our organization, I'm going to go by and I'm going to connect with them at any point in time."

And I just want you to know, I'll be talking to your people and I'm going to be connecting with your people. And I want to know kind of where they're at and what's their agenda. What are they enjoying about it? And sure enough, to this day, you still do that. I'll see you popping in, I'm like, "Uh-oh." Mark's going into my team's office like, "What's about to happen?"

But your whole purpose of that is, "No, no, no, no, no. This team it doesn't matter if they're on the job for one week or if they've been with us for 13 years, you are going to make an effort to go in and connect with them." And I love that you model that, that was the first thing that came to mind. When you think about what John said there, what comes to your mind?

Mark Cole:       Well, and let me say this on that point that you just made, it comes from Jack Welch's book Management by Walking Around. Too many people go out especially in a company organization as big as General Electric and the CEO goes out into the field and that's a big deal, get out in the field, press flash, get out there. And some of you leaders, you do that, you press flash, you get out there, but you stay in the insulated office. You don't get out where the people are. You don't get out and sense their buy-in, sense their enthusiasm, hear their accomplishments, struggle with their struggle.

Chris Goede:     Right, right.

Mark Cole:       And so it really comes from great leaders like that and watching John Maxwell in this idea of management by walking around, I think it's extremely important. When John talks about an influencer connects with people, I got to tell you, this is full disclosure, this is February. We're just coming off of January brand new year. I don't believe a leader can connect with people until the leader connects with him or herself.

Chris Goede:     That's good.

Mark Cole:       Because we want to go out and we can connect with people why? For an agenda, we want to see what they're doing. Even in your example with me walking around to your team, so many times I go and connect so they know I have their heart. It's for them. Yet so many times we are better leaders when we connect with people because we've already connected with ourself.

Chris Goede:     It's good.

Mark Cole:       So January is always a connect with myself time. I have my year in review, I reflect on what I did, what I didn't do well, there's a lot of what I didn't do well. So January is usually repair month, let me repair what I didn't do well last year. Let me give you a couple of examples. I leave today at the point of recording and I fly out to Salt Lake City before I have to be in Miami tomorrow night.

You go, "Whoa, that's kind of two different wardrobes in your back bag." That's kind of a long trip and I'm going out for one reason and one reason alone. I have a leader out there. One of our producers that runs one of our divisions that she is carrying a huge load for our 2022 plan. What I discovered at the end of December of 2021 and as I go into 2022 is that I gave very little time to such an important initiative last year.

I gave very little time to the leader, I gave very little time to communicate in the vision, I gave very little time to accountability. My first meeting, first meeting in January, this is February, I get it. But as I'm looking today, the best thing I can do is to connect with this leader.

Chris Goede:     It's good.

Mark Cole:       Now let me tell you what that means to me. It means not getting on a Zoom call, it means not waiting until next week when I see her in Florida, it means getting my rear in on a plane and going out there to let her know I realized last year I didn't connect enough and this year's going to be different.

Chris Goede:     That's good.

Mark Cole:       I didn't want her coming to me, I didn't want to wait till we were in the same city, I wanted to make an additional effort to connect. And that is a big statement to go out there in this whirlwind trip in a crazy critical time again to connect. Another example. Last year I was doing my best to detach myself from the leaders because I'm trying to empower.

Not detach like I'm not here for you, but detach from asking what I think, just let you do what you're doing. You're the example of this. So beginning of January, I have these epiphanies, we're going to cast a vision. And recently I cast a vision that impacted you inadvertently, but I didn't know so much directly. I cast the vision and I'm watching. I'm watching you.

You were on Zoom in this meeting, but I'm going, "Mm, you had to leave a little early, da, da, da, I didn't get that affirmation in your eyes." So what did I do? I connected with you by coming to you. And that was already on your schedule. You were going to connect with and get clarity because we've talked a lot about find your voice. But I went, "Whoa, wait, I got to connect. And I came back this morning, you went, 'Yeah, we're good. I got a couple of questions.'" I said, "Okay." At lunch, you know what I did after our leadership meeting? I asked you to lunch. You know what you said? No.

Chris Goede:     By the way, Jake Decker had a more important meeting for me.

Mark Cole:       So you come down here meeting with Jake, does that make Jake you're in trouble? And so you rejected me, I get that. But then that night before I left, I said, "Hey, Chris."

Chris Goede:     Call on the way home.

Mark Cole:       Call me on the way home. Yeah. I wanted to get that in the middle. You know why? Because an influencer connects with people.

Chris Goede:     It's good.

Mark Cole:       And I realized that I had lost a little connection with you on that. Was it horrible? No, but left unattended, it becomes an abyss.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, that's good.

Mark Cole:       Becomes a canyon. And so you and I connected that day, we went deeper, but that was an intentionality for the leader to say, "If I'm going to gain influence with Goede, or the other leaders in our organization, I'm going to have to be very intentional."

Chris Goede:     And what I saw this morning, going back to your first example, we were on a meeting together this morning when you said, "Hey, I'll see you in a little bit. I'm headed out this evening to see you," just the smile of that individual looking at it and saying, "Man, I can't believe he's coming to out here." So absolutely love that. Because leaders it's our responsibility to close that gap and make sure we do that.

Mark Cole:       And can I say one more thing? I started that whole little deal and we got one more little thing we want to share before we run out of time. I started that by saying this, I don't believe a leader can connect effectively with others if he or she is not connected with themselves.

Chris Goede:     Correct.

Mark Cole:       End of December, 1st of January is a massive intentionality on connecting with myself. The best way I knew to do this, I shared it last week, it's on my desk again, the best way to do that is to develop the leader within you, connect with yourself. Don't develop others at the expense of not developing yourself. I'm going to challenge you.

This is a second week in a row because it's that important. We're at the beginning of the year and I'm going to challenge you, how intentional are you in developing yourself? You want to connect with others? connect with yourself. We did this last week. You guys, a lot of you responded. We've got a digital product with this book called Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, the digital products, 10 lessons with John, it's hours of John's teaching.

We are giving our podcast listeners a 20% discount. You can go to the show notes. By the way, when you click that link, it'll last you for a code, put in the code podcast, and we'll get you a discount. But again, going back to that, how are you intentionally connecting with yourself so you can connect with others?

Chris Goede:     Well, as we wrap up today, his last point talks about reproducing other people. And it's interesting because I love how he laid it out in our show notes here where he said influence a child, you're going to influence a life. Influence a parent, you're going to influence a family, influence a worker, you're going to influence a company, influence a leader...

Man, you go through this and it's all about people. And John says in there, he says, man, the key to life, the greatest joy is adding value to people, which is why for those that are on YouTube again, this is something Mark has in front of us as an enterprise every single day about the fact that our purpose is we add value to people who multiply value to others. When you think about it like that, and you have that mindset, you will increase your influence. So any closing thoughts and kind of wrap up for us?

Mark Cole:       Yeah. It's so interesting that this is how John ended influencing others so that... Now that's not interesting because John is the one that taught me the back of the room concept. What's the next step in anything that you do? A leader always is looking 2, 3, 4 moves more steps down the road. And so that's not unusual that John would have a next step. What's unusual is the reason we work hard to influence others is so that they will influence others.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, that's right.

Mark Cole:       The reason that we do this, it's the significance gain.

Chris Goede:     Multiplication yeah.

Mark Cole:       It's multiplication. It is about more than just you and I, Chris. I don't get in the studio today to just recently cross over 17 million downloads, kudos to all of you in the studio watching on YouTube and those... We don't do this for the numbers. We do this for the moment of impact, where we transfer something to someone who will then multiply it to someone else.

And so when John does this or he ends this pursuit of influence that we've been in the last two weeks with a challenge that it's all about influencing so that others reproduce in themselves and in others leadership. And I had this thought that I was going to challenge you watching on YouTube, listening to the podcast audibly, I had this thought I wanted to challenge you.

Now I've already challenged you, develop yourself, got that. Today's going to be the two challenge day because my real challenge to you is who are you pouring into with the expectation of multiplication? Who are you intentionally giving time to, challenging, guiding as our friend Donald Miller challenges us? Who are you pouring into, spending time with with the expectation of multiplication?

We as leaders, that's the goal. That's the goal. The goal is not quite climbing the corporate ladder. That's a good one, but there's an end to that. The goal is not more money, there is too much money, there is a such thing. The goal is to really utilize the influence that we have, to influence someone else so that they will add value to a second generation, a third generation, a fourth generation, that's why we do what we do, Chris.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, that's right.

Mark Cole:       That's why you woke up this morning. That's why we joined in in this studio. That's why John Maxwell at 75 years old this month gang, podcast family, 75 years old this month, that's why he's still doing what he's doing. I go back to close out Chris, our standout session or our standout statement. It really is this, great leaders produce great leaders. That's what they do.

Look at the track record of a leader, and in that track record, are there people that are leading bigger things because that person had input in their life.

I remind you of the relevant episode, you need to do an inventory on your influence, we called that episode, Your Influence Inventory, it's in your show notes. Click back, go assess yourself, maybe assess yourself two or three times this year as we work harder. I want to close today by a way that I love to close these days, Chris, and that is with a listener's comment question.

And I pause right here and say, you give us an incredible gift. You give us a thank you back when you give us a comment, when you pay the podcast forward by forwarding the link to others. That's how you say thank you to us. And so this listener is Sede. Sede is from west Africa. I won't try to say your city because they didn't teach me that in Georgia history. But Sede is from West Africa, but studying in South Korea as a foreign student. Doesn't that make you feel good that right now in the studio we're really in Korea and South Africa?

Sede is a foreign student in South Korea, says all this year, I have been so blessed by all the teachings from this podcast, but this particular one, make winning a habit, link to that in the show notes Jake, make winning a habit is so huge and so amazing. I have copied the transcript in a file on my laptop. I need to memorize it because for me it's a life direction changing message.

Thank you, Dr. John C. Maxwell. Thanks to all of your staff. May God bless you and all have a happy new year. I love you so much. That's the reason I like this because it's right after Valentine's Day and it's still okay to say I love you so much. We love you too Sede, very much. I don't want to stop writing, but I better stop. I'm so blessed. Thank you. Thank you so much Sede.

Chris Goede:     That's awesome.

Mark Cole:       You're why we do what we do.

Chris Goede:     That's good.

Mark Cole:       Next week, join us back on the Maxwell Leadership Podcast. But until then, listen, learn, love, and then lead.

7 thoughts on “How to Gain Influence (Part 2)”

  1. Please can we revert back to MP3 downloads I don’t enjoy the You tube and it do much easier with MP3. My feedback is please have MP3 and YouTube

    1. Hi Dele,

      In order to prevent copyright infringement and unauthorized duplication of the podcast, we have recently removed the option to download the mp3 files. The best alternative is to find us on Apple Podcasts or another podcast service and download the episode from there. This will make the episode available on your device even when you’re offline and will not require the use of data after it is downloaded. Please let us know if we can assist you further.

  2. Thank you for all that you have done to help us with our Growth.
    We are Better because of you.
    I am a Pastor and Business Man that lives in the Atlanta Area and would love to connect with any Programs for Growth and Development in my Area.
    Thank you again.

    1. Hi Daren! Happy to help you find a way to get plugged in and further your growth as a leader! One of the best ways to do this is to get plugged in with a local Change Your World Roundtable. You can sign up and find a local one by visiting this link.

      We also offer more programs and course at Please let us know if we can assist you any further!

  3. Olá Mark! Há algo errado com a legenda deste vídeo.
    Não aparece o início, depois aparece um texto grande na frente do vídeo. Só melhorando do meio para o final

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