Chapter 10Make the SaleBeing Assertive, Influencing Others, and Preparing to Engage

If you want something from an audience, you give blood to their fantasies.

—MARLON BRANDO

The ability to convince or persuade others and advocate for your ideas is an essential aspect of work and life. For most workers, resources like money, space, and time are scarce, and many times we are forced to influence or convince those higher up than us regarding the value or validity of each request. Think about how many times during an average week you attempt to convince other people to adopt your position, accept your approach, or take a specific action. Whether you are negotiating with your spouse about who is going to be picking up the kids from school, your children about what time they will be home from the dance, your boss about the promotion you are currently seeking, or a client about the pricing for a recent proposal—without the ability to influence, little can be accomplished. As the famous showman P.T. Barnum once put it, “Without promotion, something terrible happens . . . nothing!”1

An excellent example of a leader influencing others took place on September 5, 1978, when President Jimmy Carter summoned Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Camp David to attempt to achieve what Carter's predecessors had failed to accomplish: a Mideast peace agreement. Carter saw the Middle East and the settlement of the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians ...

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