The Surprising Side of Gaining Influence.

You can’t lead people you don’t know. Knowing others means understanding and appreciating not judging.


Knowing others is first about you then about others. Humility accepts. Arrogance judges and rejects.

Difference frustrates arrogant leaders.

Everyone should be like them. On the other hand, humble leaders embrace those with different strengths, weaknesses, cultural backgrounds, and ways of seeing, for example.

Humility is the channel of understanding and appreciating others.

Awareness and acknowledgement:

People respect and follow competence. But there’s more. Accepting your weaknesses – something humble leaders do – is an invitation to the strengths of others.

Reluctance to acknowledge weaknesses is arrogance. Pretending you’re something you’re not eventually becomes self-deception.

The first step to knowing others is knowing yourself.

Knowing others:

Influence takes root when others feel known. Enhancing influence includes knowing their:

  1. Goals both personal and professional. If you want to influence others know what they want.
  2. Pressures and stresses. Acknowledge them.
  3. Communication styles. Some need the whole story others just the facts. Some say, “Just give me the punch line.”
  4. Real and aspirational role in the organization. Know what success looks like from their point of view.

The surprising truth is humble leaders gain influence because they know, understand, and appreciate others.

You can’t make people do things, over the long haul. Humble leaders influence.

Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence.”

What do leaders need to know about those they are leading?

How can leaders get to know others?