How to Influence Like Peter Drucker

Extend your influence by following the example of Peter Drucker.


Drucker’s 9 channels of influence:

  1. “Define the landscape.”
  2. “Expose ‘white space’ – define opportunities – what is needed now.”
  3. “Clarify strengths and capacities.”
  4. “Identify incorrect assumptions.”
  5. “Encourage to ‘go for it.’”
  6. “Help sort out the right strategies.”
  7. “Affirm results.”
  8. “Point out wasted effort.”
  9. “Gentle accountability.”

(Posted on 5/14/14)

Point out wasted effort (#8):

People grow frustrated when they use broken strategies to solve recurring problems.

The first thing many leaders do, when things don’t go as planned, is try harder. Rather than buckle down, they need someone to help them acknowledge their own frustrations.

It’s easy for me to see wasted effort, because I’ve often been the victim of my own stubborn persistence. Typically, I use a series of questions to point out and begin resolving wasted effort.

  1. What’s frustrating you?
  2. What’s frustrating about that?
  3. What are you doing to solve your frustration?
  4. How’s your strategy working?
  5. What do you really want, with this situation in mind?
  6. Who do you  want to be, with this situation in mind?
  7. How can you step toward your desired outcome, today? The answer must be an observable behavior.
  8. Who has faced a situation similar to yours?
  9. What are you willing to change?


People aren’t always willing to deal with wasted effort. They want to dig in and try harder. If you’ve explored the issue and they persist, don’t worry about it. You can’t change people.

Easy and meaningful:

Meaningful behaviors don’t have to be hard. But, you still have to do them.

Don’t wait for an invitation to make a difference.

Email and asks, “Are you getting where you want to go?

Call and say, “I see a strength in you that you might not see.”

Which of the nine channels of influence are easy for you?

How can you help us see how to flesh-out one of the nine channels of influence?