E-News - Influence

You can’t start or run a successful business without influence. Dr. John C. Maxwell defines leadership as “influence, nothing more and nothing less.”

As I coach HVAC business owners, I am often questioned about how to influence, and some worry that such influence may come across incorrectly. My answer to those inquiries is simple: If you influence someone on your team positively, it won’t come across in a negative way.

Merriam-Webster defines influence as “the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force.” What can we learn from this? Simply put, the true meaning of influence is convincing people to take action without any sort of force or exertion.

The more positive information we share, the more the team will understand, and the better decisions they will make. An example relevant to the HVAC field is the idea of wearing shoe protectors in the homes and businesses we serve. When we first adopted this many years ago, some were not on board with it. It became an awkward problem when our TV and radio commercials boasted that McAfee employees wear shoe protectors, because customer property is important to us, yet some chose to walk into homes without them. In response to this problem, I held a meeting and shared the importance of shoe protectors, for the customers’ sake as well as the employees’. My passion and positive influence stuck. Now, many years later, I can confidently guarantee that if shoe protectors are not worn by McAfee staff, that service call will be free.

Not once, in the last decade, have we ever had to do a pro bono call because of lack of promised shoe protectors. Why? Because leadership is influence, and influence done positively, for a positive reason, will have a positive result.

How influential are you as a leader in your company?

These three questions will help you find out:

  1. Do your employees trust your judgment and promptly carry out any requests and tasks you assign to them?
  2. Do you lead your team into new areas or opportunities?
  3. Can you persuade customers to buy from you and close the deal on the first call?

If you answered yes to all three of the above questions, you carry some weight in your company and have the ability to influence people. If you answered no, it’s an indication that you have some work to do.

There are multiple leadership books on the market that can teach you much, but below are a few I’ve found very personally beneficial:

  • Lead for God’s Sake, by Todd G. Gongwer
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell
  • Good to Great, by James C. Collins
  • Extreme Ownership, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  • It’s Your Dream, by Gregory K. McAfee

We also offer leadership training via phone or Skype, and you can join us on October 3 and 4 for our Business Growth Boot Camp, to improve your leadership skills.

Carry On!

Greg McAfee
Greg McAfee
HVAC Business Consultant