Leadership & the Power of Influence



James de Gaspé Bonar
Ph.D., CEC, PCC

March 24, 2019


“Leadership is influence”
- John C. Maxwell, New York Times Best Selling author

One of my clients recently shared with me her frustration on being passed over for a promotion in her hoped-for ascent up the corporate ladder. A very capable executive, she is well liked and would appear to have all the requisite experience for a more senior management position. So, why didn’t it happen?

In my experience advising and coaching leaders, I have learned that the most successful executives lead through the power of influence. They inspire others to willingly implement their ideas. They have high-stakes influence conversations with their superiors, peers, direct reports and stakeholders. They maximize their probability of success by setting out specific goals for these conversations. There is no substitute for a thoroughly planned approach - including anticipating possible objections and rehearsing messages to be delivered in a concise and effective manner.

Too many leaders, however, rush into important meetings under-prepared. Some lack the skills and the confidence to present their ideas convincingly. Such interactions are unproductive, if not counter-productive and as such their leadership can be perceived as wanting.

It is difficult to achieve success when leaders struggle to successfully engage and influence stakeholders. Such was the case with my client. There is a science as well as an art to effectively influence people. It entails having the right conversations with the right person to achieve the right result. In working with clients, I employ the following proven six-step methodology:

Six-step Methodology


During the follow-up with my clients, we review the outcomes of their meetings. Were the goals achieved? If not, why not? What were the lessons learned? What are the appropriate next steps?

This methodology enables leaders to be more effective in achieving their goals by successfully influencing stakeholders. It is also an excellent framework to enhance their leadership presence: that elusive wow factor that is the combination of personal and interpersonal skills. In politics, it's called charisma. Leadership presence is how executives and aspiring executives present themselves to others and how others perceive them. It gives their careers that extra impetus towards success.

To learn more about this methodology, and how I can help you achieve your goals by influencing others, please contact info@bonarinstitute.com.


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