Maxwell’s Second Law of Leadership

In my first post, Maxwell’s First Law of Leadership, I discussed Maxwell’s Law of the Lid in which ones effectiveness is only as high as their ability to lead.  Next in the ongoing series of Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I would like to take a moment to discuss his second law, the Law of Influence.  Before I do, I would like encourage everyone to head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of this wonderful book.

The Second Law:

2. The Law of Influence
This law is quite simple, if you can’t influence your followers’ actions, there is no way you can lead them effectively.  Maxwell makes a clear distinction between influence and a title; true leaders can influence their followers despite their title or position. As an example, he discusses the influence that Princess Diana had over the world.  A woman who was afraid of her position and responsibilities early in her marriage, became one of the most powerful women on the planet, even after her divorce and the removal of royal title.   Her influence, many argue, was greater than the Queen’s.  Diana was a true leader.

So, when you think of your ability to lead, think back and recall the last time you influenced anyone.  Then ask if you influenced them through your title or your heart? I think this law has a lot to do respect and trust than anything else.  You must show that you have them in your interest and that your decision making skills are in line with theirs.  This is how you earn respect and trust.  For me, this is the case, as I have always gained the trust and have been respected by many people who call me for advice.  It is something that I take a lot of pride in.

Next, Maxwell’s Third Law of Leadership…


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