Seven Secrets of Influence by Elaina Zuker
is a fairly complete guide on how to get
things done in a host of different contexts
and organizational environments. Zuker talks
about styles of influence, rappor, how people
process information, getting hard data,
refining listening skills, dynamics of others'
decision-making , packaging communication,
influencing behavior and many other things.
Zuker's advice transcends organizational
designs and gets into flatter decision-making
architectures like those found in "think tanks".
The author points out the flaws of too much
manipulation which include resentment, remorse
The author's description of influencers is
intriguing because they can accomplish things
without exerting too much authority. Most
importantly, influence can be positive when
needs and outcomes dovetail. Furthermore,
skilled influence combines self-understanding
There are classic dilemmas in industry; such as,
how to get any good idea implemented by consulting
with strategic constituencies and gaining their
support. A related challenge is to work well with
the people who control the financial resources.
Zuker discusses the classic influence modalities
which are analytic, practical, gelling and selling.
Welling is another important aspect which involves
getting people with different or incongruent goals
to unify and get behind accomplishing a particular
goal worthy of achievement. i.e. energy independence
The "welling style" involves flexibility, feedback,
cue-tasking, summing up and elaborating-sometimes
extemporaneously. A related style is gelling which
quickly mobilizes energy and resources. Dr. Martin
Luther King embraced the gelling style.
Zuker presents a lot of good detail under the banner of
a single book. The challenge for readers will be to sort
through the various techniques and methods cited in order
to put the book's message into personal practice and
implementation. This is no easy task.
For instance, the author cites how Dr. King was masterful
at mobilizing energy and resources under the banner of the
Civil Rights Movement. The eternal challenge will be for
all people to embrace the education, tools and shear
personal effort requisite to acquire the knowhow
to participate in the global economy. A related challenge
will be to maintain a perpetual full employment global economy.
Both of these challenges are ideals which no particular
economic system has been able to deliver consistently.
Some economic systems do a better job at this than others.