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Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others Paperback – August 1, 2006
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- Item Weight : 7 ounces
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0785288392
- ISBN-13 : 978-0785288398
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.5 inches
- Publisher : Harpercollins Leadership; 7/30/06 edition (August 1, 2006)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #31,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Ironic that when I read this book I did not expect to be "influenced" by it 😂 But I was heavily influenced into becoming a influencer. Although this book was published in 1997 all of the text transcends all years and applies to all generations of readers who fully comprehend it. John Maxwell is an excellent leader and him and Jim's book instills good qualities you reinforce within yourself to become a true trailblazer in the lives of others. I want people to know that as I'm writing this review that my life has improved socially. I have influenced people prior to reading this book and even now after reading it. I'm no Nostradamus, but I predict that one day I'll influence hundreds, if not thousands of people in this world I occupy--both intentionally and accidentally. The info in this book is common sense, all of these traits you naturally have. You just need to use them more effectively. You'll probably highlight this book heavily like I have!!! Probably the entire book!! It's a jewel in my opinion. Funny thing about is Tupac Shakur is one of my biggest influences in my life. His music, his spoken word in interviews etc. I could line up nearly him and all other legends with everything listed in this book. I believe he would read this book today if he were present. I'm sure I'm own my way to becoming a legend as well,afterall "...legends reproduce legends by a matter of influence." Remember I said that!!! --Clifford Onehundredd 6-15-19. 💎👑 I highly recommend this book to everyone as required reading and I'm definitely going to get in touch with John C. Maxwell to thank him and Jim Dorman for producing this book. I believe if my dreamz manifested and I became a celebrity this is one of the books I would push my fanz to read. It should be in every school, every college, every library. Human interaction is something we will all inevitably face, and this book will equip you with needed social skills. READ & APPLY ITS PRINCIPLES AND YOU TOO WILL INFLUENCE THE LIVES OF OTHERS AS AN INFLUENCER!
I bought this book at the request of my manager at work. The first chapter really bothered me. So much that I can't keep reading this book.
The book chastises Dennis Rodman for not wanting to be a role model. The author says if Dennis Rodman didn't want to be a role model, he should've chosen another, less publicly visible profession like being a mechanic. For all of the questionable antics of Dennis Rodman, for him to be true to himself, to wear the clothes he wanted to wear and put on the makeup he wanted to put on, I have a hard time accepting that he would have had an easy time finding employment in many workplaces let alone walking into an auto shop looking for work, due to lack of social acceptance. In other words, for Dennis Rodman to simply exist as himself, his employment opportunities were probably not as broad as the 'standard' person in society.
The author then goes on to suggest that true basketball fans should remember and revere Red Auerbach, a white player who started his career at a time when black people weren't even allowed to play in the NBA. This seems like a very clear example of how social behavior shaping inequities in opportunities creates an unfair advantage, while reducing the opportunities of disadvantaged groups of people.
As a basketball fan and human being, I find this analysis unsettling. Many basketball fans will remember that the Bulls became extremely dominant during the time where Dennis Rodman was allowed to just be himself and not try to conform to expectations. Basketball analysts discussing this era of basketball who are looking for a polar opposite player of ideal behavior or character often pivot directly to players like David Robinson, a disciplined and clean-cut uncontroversial former service member from the military who came up in the NBA around the same time as Rodman. Why would the author go out of their way to reach way back into an older era of basketball and pluck this example of Auerbach, who had the luxury of not having to compete with minorities to establish a foothold in the NBA; a player who went on to serve as president and general manager of the Celtics from 1967 to 1987, the era directly preceding Rodman's professional career and an era where minorities were not widely accepted in leadership positions like president and general manager. How many black coaches were there during Auerbach's time? He coached from 1946 to 1965. If lists online are accurate, he had to compete with precisely 0 black coaches, let alone female basketball coaches, and probably plenty of other segments of society.
Is someone a basketball genius if a bunch of the qualified competition is simply not allowed to compete? Is that successful leadership? Would their model for success work just as well in an era where people of diverse backgrounds are allowed to compete? Why were there no black basketball coaches during Auerbach's coaching stint? Do we really believe it's because there were no black people who understood what it took to achieve basketball success? Why did he transition out of coaching right at the cusp of the era where black coaches started appearing, but before they got positions as general manager and president?
Whether he realizes it or not, what is the author really lamenting about this newer era of basketball, that looks and behaves differently from the social norms established in the older era? When the author writes about Auerbach looking for players of the "right character," is the result of that not simply reinforcing the existing social norms that end up suffocating otherwise gifted and talented individuals like Dennis Rodman, reducing their opportunities to practice their craft and profession unless they betray themselves to conform to desired social behavior?
The author also laments athletes who are caught with drugs and prostitutes in their hotel rooms -- something that happens with politicians, religious leaders, and plenty of other segments of society. Why focus on athletes specifically? The author is a religious leader. Why gloss over problems there and head straight for the NBA? What is it about the NBA that is different, and makes it front of mind for the author to choose?
Like Javert of Les Miserables, the author of the book says that people always have the ability to make the "right" moral choice, regardless of their circumstances. The author includes an anecdote about taking his wife to Europe and buying her excessive amounts of lavish clothing, then declaring the clothing at customs upon return to the U.S. and proudly paying the tax on the excessive amount of clothing to the astonishment of customs because it was "the right thing to do." How nice it must be to enjoy such privilege and shame those who can't do the same. I suppose people who can't afford to pay those luxury taxes should, like Dennis Rodman, just make the right choice and deprive themselves of the experiences of the privileged.
To the author of this book, I would make the plea to please reexamine your attitude towards people, and show empathy and understanding towards people of different backgrounds. I would make the plea to recognize that people are not all given the same cards to play in life, and not all people need to be "good people" or "good leaders"
in the same way. If you give people of diverse backgrounds the time and space to be good in the way they are best able to, the results can be beautiful.
To the readers, I would say take this book with a major grain of salt. Remember that Phil Jackson, the coach who understood how to incorporate Dennis Rodman's personality and productive work ethic won more championships than Red Auerbach, and he did it in an era where there were more opportunities for minorities to compete. He did it by understanding diverse individuals and leading them to their common goals as a team. Dennis Rodman, who did not choose to become a mechanic, became a multiple NBA champion and hall of fame player while not sacrificing his personal identity for the sake of conforming to social expectations. The world is a diverse place with a diverse range of people of different backgrounds and talents. Leaders who recognize and understand the diversity of the world they live in can reach additional heights by incorporating that diverse talent.
I think John distills the essence of being a person of influence in a very consumable easy to understand approach. There are many more books appearing on this topic, and I've read most of them, but this is a great starting point for many.
Top reviews from other countries
It’s a very reader-friendly book with lots of subheadings that make for easy skim-reading, should you decide to do so.
The overall message can essentially be summed up as “practical ways to love your neighbour as yourself so you can live a successful and happy life” because, ultimately, that’s the impact of intentionally living a life of influence.