The Art and Science of Influence and Leadership (Part II: The Art)

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Influence and leadership

Original Sun-Maid package, Designer unknown, incorporates painting by Fanny Scafford, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

At some point, any effective exercise merges theory (the “science”) into practice (the “art”). Ironically, the following analysis of the art of influence and leadership predates the previously discussed science by roughly half a century or more.

That doesn’t mean this art didn’t follow science as you will immediately see.

The convergence of the art and science of influence and leadership can best be found in the field of advertising. Before Mad Men, before Madison Avenue, this field first blossoms in the not-so-quiet offices of the Chicago firm of Lord & Thomas.

You remember Lord & Thomas, don’t you? They were the “McMann and Tate” of the first quarter of the twentieth century. While it’s president Albert D. Lasker (a.k.a., “The Man Who Sold America” who The New York Times once called “The Continue Reading “The Art and Science of Influence and Leadership (Part II: The Art)”

What Is A Good Leader?

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We all want to be one. We want our children to be one. And when we’re not one, we want the person in charge to be one.

What is it?

It’s not just a “leader,” it’s a “GOOD leader.”

This represents a significant qualifier. You’ll need to brace yourself for this one. The word doesn’t reflect a moral imperative (yet), it merely alludes to effectiveness.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “but if a leader isn’t moral, why would I ever follow him?”

Let me counter that with a different question: If you find yourself placed in a life or death Continue Reading “What Is A Good Leader?”

Ode to Larry Pierce: Forever Among the Colonnade of Community Pillars

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They are few and far between. Any vibrant community is blessed by no more than a handful. They’re unassuming when you see them. But the moment they speak, you know them.

They are the bedrock of any sustainable community – the foundation upon which everyday folks like us can confidently build our everyday lives. They allow us to assume a comfortable regularity of our surroundings. This makes our lives more pleasant. This makes our lives easier. This, indeed, makes our lives.

Yet, they are much more. Beyond the rock of a common foundation, they represent the solid stone pillars that uplift our community. In doing so, they not only make our lives Continue Reading “Ode to Larry Pierce: Forever Among the Colonnade of Community Pillars”

What Every Leader Wants (and Better Have)

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When we think of leadership, we think of power, authority, and influence. We often assume these three traits are interchangeable, that they mean the same thing.

They don’t.

According to Merriam-Webster, those with “power” have the “ability to act or produce an effect.” In addition, the dictionary also says power may be a “legal or official authority, capacity, or right” that possesses “control, authority, or influence over others.” Despite this, don’t confuse “power” with either “authority” or “influence.” You can possess power without having either authority or influence.

How is this so?

Merriam-Webster fails to help here, as it defines “authority” as the “power to influence or Continue Reading “What Every Leader Wants (and Better Have)”

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