In this chapter of the “The Geek Leader’s Handbook”, we are discussing overcoming the influence deficit. What exactly is influence…? Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. In the chapter it says that leaders struggle to influence people in their organization. Why? Geeks usually end up feeling confused, frustrated, and disrespected when it comes to trying to influence people. That is the same for me as well, I am not usually good with trying to influence other people, I just like other geeks tend to lack influence. The book gives off primary examples as to why geeks lack influence. The reasons are geeks don’t know the difference between influence and power, geeks fail to cultivate the preconditions for being influential, and last geeks try use techniques that are more suited to sales people than geeks. The difference between influence and power is that power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. When people have power they tend to think that they have it all. They know that with power you have the ability to tell and have people doing what you want them to do. With influence you can effect another person’s inner state what they think, feel, and believe. I’d rather have influence than power over someone, it shouldn’t be that I “made” you do something, but because your inner self wanted to do it.
The book gives off preconditions of influence, that is they must be open t- being influenced by you, you must be willing to change their inner state, and you must be able to move them to think, feel, and/or believe differently. I like how the book gives off ways that you can be more influential. We should first focus on building influence rather than power. I agree with that because if you work on building power, you’re eventually going to start letting the power go to your head. Next be consistent with your goals and personalities. If you have a goal stick to it, don’t just say something and not act on it, in order to be influential you need to be able to motivated and have everything together.
Next in the book it talks about having empathy, empathy is the key to “openness”. Empathy is constantly being reassessed. It goes on to talk about how decisions are based on emotions, which is absolutely true. Feelings are not facts… “reasons, facts, and logic just aren’t enough”. The book is very right about mentioning that human emotions are essential to decision making. Dealing with that you should think about what the future holds before making any type of decision. Because I know for a fact you don’t want to be in a permanent predicament because of a quick decision. Geeks have a emotional attachment to facts and logic.
In conclusion we talked about what influence is, and the difference between having influence and power. You know you are ready to start influencing once they become consistent with their goals. Once you have the confused, frustrated feeling out of the way, you can start influencing people. The next chapter will give more incite on this whole topic, and what else you can do.