I finished Chris Widener’s book “The Art of Influence” in about two days driving in my car (I listened to the unabridged audio book). In this little book is some powerful advice for people looking to be successful in life. The book is the fictional story about a young MBA graduate who has the energy, drive, and enthusiasm to want to be highly successful..He is surprised by a gift given to him by his grandmother at his graduation party. The gift, which he thought would be a $10 bill, turns out to be a weekend with one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in business, Bobby Gold. As the story unfolds, the young grad finds out that Gold’s success is driven by influence and that influence comes when you change yourself. This isn’t a book about fooling the other guy but refreshingly, about how to work on yourself as you work with other people.
Gold takes the young man on a business trip and teaches him the “Four Golden Rules of Influence” which are driven by becoming a person of character and integrity. As a pastor, I saw many biblical principles shared here (being concerned about others’ needs more than your own, striving to live an honest lift of integrity, and treating others well) that can give a person the influence they should be striving for. The book ends with Gold writing a note of encouragement to the young man as he sends him on his way home.
It’s a short book packed with a lot of punch. If you are a fan of the Ken Blanchard style of writing, Widener’s story will feel like a familiar friend. I found the audio version enjoyable to listen to and the information worth noting. We all can stand to check ourselves from time to time to make sure we are doing the right things. It’s a brief book but well worth your time. Find it at your favorite library or bookstore and give it a read (or listen!)