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The 18th Method, and our last method is, Lead by example. Albert Einstein said, leading by example isn't a way to influence, it's the way to influence. Here's how to do it. First, show the strength of your convictions by doing yourself what you want others to do. As Gandhi said, be the change you wish to see in the world. Second, tell them how you did it, and why it worked. You yourself become an additional source of credibility. Here's an example of this method in action.
Dee Hock, founder of the credit card company Visa, organized a key meeting back when the effort to expand Visa overseas was headed for failure. He was at the pivot point of influence. He asked the delegates to open a small gift he'd placed for each of them on the table in front of them. It was a pair of cufflinks. On one, half of the world was surrounded with the Latin phrase, Studium ad prosperandum, The will to succeed. On the second, was the other half of the world surrounded with voluntas in conveniendum, the grace to compromise.
Hock said, we meet tomorrow for the final time to disband the effort after an arduous two years. We have one last request, will you please wear your cufflinks to the meeting in the morning? When we part, each of us will take them with us as a reminder for the rest of our lives that the world can never be united through us, because we lack the will to succeed and the grace to compromise. But, if by some miracle our differences dissolve before the morning, this gift will remind us until the day we die that the world was united, because we had the will to succeed and the grace to compromise.
When you finished, there wasn't a sound in the room. And then the most vocal opponent broke the silence by swearing out loud. And everyone burst out laughing. They all knew that with a few well-chosen actions and words, Hakka changed the entire situation. The deal went through the next day. I conclude the influence advantage checklist with this example, because if you examine it closely, you'll notice Hock used in some way most of the methods on our entire list. It's a great reminder that you can integrate and combine several methods relevant for your situation.
As Vincent van Gogh said, great things are done by a series of small things brought together. So go through the check-list before your important influence events, and use a diverse mix of methods to cover the diverse motivations in your counterparts. And remember this, don't focus on what's merely enough to convince you, but what's more than enough to convince them.
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