Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#22: Becoming a Person of Influence (John Maxwell)

on September 17, 2012

My reading life slowed down considerably for the past month due to some illness following traveling with family. Now things seem to be getting back to normal and I'm finding a routine again.

My latest book was John Maxwell's Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others. Books related to leadership are not my normal fare, but I found myself a bit discouraged regarding my interactions with others in almost every area of my life. As I browsed the shelves, I stumbled on the book and was captivated by the possibilities immediately.

Written in simple language, Becoming a Person of Influence should be read by anyone who wants to make a positive impact in the lives of others. Whether you find yourself interacting with people in the board room, the classroom, or the sanctuary, this book can provide you with valuable insight into the impact you are currently making while offering realistic suggestions to begin improving your influence. I intentionally read the book rather slowly so I could digest the material and examine my own life. What I have discovered has provided correction in some areas and affirmation in others.

Personally, I struggle with having faith in other people. It's not easy for me to let go of a task that I can do better in a shorter amount of time. I tend to forget that people want to do something worth-while and that allowing them to do it (even when it's not how I would do it) allows them an opportunity to grow and develop their own skills. To conclude, here are two of my favorite passages from Maxwell's chapter on having faith in people.

“As you work to become a person of influence, always remember that your goal is not to get people to think more highly of you. It's to get them to think more highly of themselves. Have faith in them, and they will begin to do exactly that.” (Maxwell, p. 64)

“Not everyone has the natural ability to recognize past successes and draw confidence from them. Some people need help. If you can show others that they have done well in the past and help them see that their past victories have paved the way for future success, they'll be better able to move into action. Listing past successes helps others believe in themselves.” (Maxwell, p. 69)

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