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Influence Without Authority, 3rd Edition by David L. Bradford, Allan R. Cohen

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Chapter 5You Have More to Offer Than You Think If You Know Your Goals, Priorities, and Resources

[I'm part of a volunteer community organization,] The Columbus Partnership, a group of 16 CEOs. The group picked me as the leader. My inauguration speech was, “I have no authority; you're all here voluntarily—your interest is the community. I'm going to try to lead you, but understand I can only influence you. And I'm very sensitive to that, the fact that you're all presidents, some of you are presidents of businesses larger than ours, so [there is] a disparity of interests, but I can only lead from influence. So the notion of an influence model, an authority model, listening skills, organization skills, visioning skills . . . [etc.] it's the things that leaders want to practice, practicing their art and their science. It's a wonderful thing to try these things in communities, let alone your particular skill set. . . . It enriches your career and advances it.”

Les Wexner, CEO of The Limited, Talk at the Kennedy School, Harvard University, Fall 2003

Power Sources: You Are Plugged In

Our basic premise is that your ability to influence—the power that is due to your skills, as much, if not more than your position—comes from access to resources that others want. This works because you gain influence through mutually beneficial exchanges, and the more resources you can supply, the ...

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