Positive Influence Book Summary - Positive Influence Book explained in key points
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Positive Influence summary

Tsun-Yan Hsieh & Huijin Kong

The First and Last Mile of Leadership

3.7 (229 ratings)
17 mins
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    Positive Influence
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    What influence is – and isn’t

    When discussing influence, it’s important not to confuse it with manipulation.

    Here’s a workplace scenario to illustrate influence in action. Vik, a project leader, aims to impress his superiors, while Sue-Ann, the project sponsor, is balancing work demands with family commitments. Vik and Sue-Ann have their individual goals, and they must both align these with the broader objectives of the project. It’s not solely about Vik's ambitions or Sue-Ann’s quest for balance. Instead, they need to harmonize their personal goals to prioritize the shared aim of project success. Through this scenario, we realize that influence is about aligning diverse interests to serve a common purpose.

    Now, let's touch upon manipulation, the not-so-pleasant cousin of influence. Manipulation is self-serving and often harmful to others. It’s like a chess game in which you’d think several moves ahead solely for your gain, regardless of how it affects others. Positive influence, on the other hand, is about creating a scenario in which everyone’s needs are considered and addressed.

    Imagine if Vik, focused solely on his career advancement, manipulated project data to appear more successful, while disregarding the team's efforts and Sue-Ann's need for stability. This self-serving tactic might give Vik a temporary edge, but it harms the project’s integrity and erodes trust within the team. Manipulation only brings about detrimental effects.

    Speaking of trust, it’s worth noting that influence has more to do with effective communication at heart than plain old persuasion, which tends to center on personal gain. You cannot just broadcast your message and hope it sticks enough for people to pick it up. By communicating transparently, you establish a two-way street on which understanding, empathy, and mutual inspiration come into play to extend your reach. To influence people, you need to be willing to follow up and engage them in meaningful dialogue.

    Suppose Vik emailed ambitious project goals to impress his superiors, but didn’t seek Sue-Ann and the team’s feedback. His approach, while informative to his higher-ups, would miss the chance for collaborative input from his team. This scenario demonstrates the limits of one-way communication and how it keeps influence from serving its purpose.

    Ultimately, being positively influential involves collaboration and mutual respect – two things that help you balance individual and collective needs. You’re not winning at the expense of any team member under your watch.

    Now that you know what influence is and isn’t, let’s find out whether you’re any good at it – and what to do if you’re falling short.

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    What is Positive Influence about?

    Positive Influence (2021) offers a no-nonsense roadmap that helps people harness positive influence with courage, empathy, vision, and wisdom as they shape a world that benefits all. It suggests that mastering the art of positive influence can bring about profound and beneficial changes across the personal and professional realms of a person’s life.

    Positive Influence Review

    Positive Influence (2021) presents a thoughtful exploration of how influence operates in our lives and how we can use it to effect positive change. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers insightful analysis and practical strategies for understanding and harnessing the power of influence in various contexts.
    • Backed by research and real-world examples, it provides a solid foundation for applying the principles of influence in personal and professional settings.
    • The book's emphasis on ethical influence sets it apart, offering guidance on using our power of persuasion for the greater good without manipulation or coercion.

    Who should read Positive Influence?

    • Leaders improving their organizational dynamics knowledge
    • Professionals transitioning into leadership roles
    • Team leads desiring cohesive collaboration

    About the Author

    Tsun-Yan Hsieh, a New York Times best-selling author and guru in the leadership realm, has had the unique knack of turning CEOs into students of influence over his illustrious 48-year career. Known for Positive Influence and Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck, he's the go-to guy for top brass learning to lead with heart and smarts. Hsieh believes that leadership is nothing without style and substance to go along with it.

    Huijin Kong, co-author of Positive Influence, is renowned for her deep insights into organizational dynamics and leadership development. With a keen focus on blending analytical acumen with empathetic leadership, Kong complements Hsieh's expertise, offering a holistic perspective on the art of influence in the modern business world. Her contributions help shape leaders who excel in both strategic vision and compassionate guidance.

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    Positive Influence FAQs 

    What is the main message of Positive Influence?

    The main message of Positive Influence is that small actions can have a big impact on others and create positive change.

    How long does it take to read Positive Influence?

    The reading time for Positive Influence varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Positive Influence a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Positive Influence is a valuable read for anyone looking to make a difference. It provides actionable insights and strategies for effectively influencing others.

    Who is the author of Positive Influence?

    Tsun-Yan Hsieh & Huijin Kong are the authors of Positive Influence.

    What to read after Positive Influence?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Positive Influence, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • No Explanation Required! by Carol Sankar
    • Pillars of Wealth by David M. Greene
    • Competing Against Luck by Clayton M. Christensen
    • Podcasting Marketing Strategy by Daniel Rowles and Ciaran Rogers
    • Finance for the People by Paco de Leon
    • In an Unspoken Voice by Peter A. Levine
    • You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham
    • The Art of Clear Thinking by Hasard Lee
    • Mindset by Carol Dweck