5 out of 5 stars
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Significant events throughout history have been pushed and made possible by leaders who had one thing in common, influence. It has always been an influence that goes beyond just lip service. Behaviors, mindset, and effective actions accompany it. Given this fact, it is prudent for leaders to understand the nitty-gritty of leadership and influence. This book, Positive Influence by Brian Smith and Mary Griffin, explores this field in detail and conclusively.
The book is the second installment of the "I" in Team Series. It continues the authors' quest to explore the power of influence and leadership on individuals and teams. The authors reiterate that we all hold positions of responsibility and leadership at different levels, from family, groups, and even in the corporate setting. They start by laying the foundation for influence and its components. Here, they discuss communication, composure, accountability, and values. The book then expounds more on what responsibility means and entails before discussing the pitfalls of influence. Here, an in-depth analysis is done on what hinders leaders and individuals from positively impacting others. Discussions on change, self-education, and diversity then quickly follow. After every sub-title, a 'key takeaways' section is included to summarize and note essential points from the topics. The authors also incorporate stories from their personal experiences to put their points across.
Brain and Mary's skillful narration of their stories and personal experiences made this book quite a joy to read. Concepts that would have otherwise been difficult to grasp were easier and more relatable. I also have to say that the work experience and expertise that these two authors have had made the book even more authentic. It was refreshing to know that they were not addressing the issues from a theoretical point of view. Their ability to weave these experiences with insightful lessons and reflections was also a plus and a great strength of the book.
I also liked that the book can be read as a standalone. The author occasionally revisited and discussed topics from the first book. This made the content more comprehensive and accommodative. This book has greatly shifted my approach and mindset toward leadership and influence. I'm now working on being more mindful of my actions, thoughts, and reactions. It's ongoing work to channel them to a path leading to my personal growth, success, and fulfillment. The simple language also makes the book easy to comprehend and accessible to everyone. The only negative about the book was its length; I would have preferred more concise writing. I, however, acknowledge the authors' need to provide an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the topic and will not factor it into my rating.
I, therefore, give the book a perfect rating of five out of five stars. It is well-written and professionally edited. Anyone wishing to increase their influence and positively impact their teams, families, communities, and beyond will definitely enjoy reading this book.
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