Through the years, I’ve featured four books on my blog by Robert L. Dilenschneider. His books are that good.
Today, I highlight his newest title, The Ultimate Guide to Power
& Influence, which is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller and has also been on the USA Today bestseller list.
In our rapidly changing world, adaptability and influence are key to success. “The book is a comprehensive guide designed to help young professionals and career changers navigate these changes,” says Dilenschneider.
The book is structured into 15 insightful chapters, each focusing on a unique aspect of power and influence. “Every chapter has something relevant for you, no matter your age or place in your career. Pick and choose what you need when you need it,” explains Dilenschneider.
You’ll learn about:
- understanding the power of personal connections
- how to pivot in your career
- the right way to make mistakes
- how to use influence for the greater good
- how to be a memorable manager
- effective networking
Robert L. Dilenschneider
Today, Dilenschneider shares these insights with us:
Question: What inspired you to write The Ultimate Guide to Power & Influence?
Dilenschneider: I was inspired to write The Ultimate Guide to Power & Influence because I saw a need for a practical, insightful guide to help professionals navigate the rapid changes in our world.
Over my decades as a consultant to major companies and leaders, I've accumulated lessons and perspectives that I wanted to share. My goal was to provide a comprehensive playbook, drawing from real-world examples, to empower professionals at any career stage to build influence, lead effectively and use power responsibly. This book represents the culmination of my life's work advising executives across industries.
Question: Can you share a key lesson or insight from the book that you believe is particularly important for today's professionals?
Dilenschneider: One of the most important lessons from the book is the need to learn from your mistakes daily.
As you gain more influence, you'll be taking greater risks, spearheading new initiatives, and managing crises. This inevitably leads to setbacks and missteps. However, mistakes become invaluable learning opportunities if embraced the right way. Analyze why it happened, how you could improve, and what you'd do differently next time. Share the lessons with your team. Don't dwell on the mistake but reflect on it - then move forward smarter. This mindset allows you to take risks without fear of failure holding you back. My decades as a consultant have shown me that the most successful leaders adopt this mentality.
Question: What are some common mistakes people make when trying to gain power and influence, and how can they avoid them?
Dilenschneider: Common mistakes in gaining influence include lacking a defined mission, poor communication skills, inflexibility, disingenuous networking, and compromising values for expediency.
Avoid these pitfalls by clearly articulating your goals, honing how you listen and connect with people, staying nimble to meet changing needs, building authentic relationships, not just superficial contacts, and adhering to your principles even when tempted to cut corners.
Success without integrity is hollow. Keep your ethical compass as your guide. With purpose, adaptability, genuine communication and leading by example, you can build influence with integrity. Those are the values I instill in my book to help professionals avoid common missteps.
Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.