Growing Influence: A Story of How to Lead with Character, Expertise, and Impact is a book by Ron Price and Stacy Ennis, and the title implies a matter of influence. Hidden amidst the fast-paced overview of corporate leadership is a story you can grasp and hold onto — a memorable tear-jerker, with bits of inspiration so innocuous that they are under your skin before you know it.

It’s short, sweet and sad — though, absent is any sense of pity or drama. Lessons are passed on from a wise CEO to his younger protegé — over coffee, through a flurry of meeting, shared memories and moments. But, inevitably, there is reality, and the sense that everything must end (even books).

My own multilayered experience with work and cancer and motherhood and life has colored my impression of the book, I know (I could be far more objective and critical, I know… But I could not stop reading. I found it touching and thought-provoking… And I kind of loved it — faults and all.)

Even if you (or I) knew what was coming, would we ever want to change it? It is part of what has molded and made us… In a rich tapestry of resilience, courage and hope. This is what we call life.

A Matter of Comparison…

I’ve read lots of books and articles about leadership over the years. I’ve heard the speeches, and I’ve been inspired…

How could I not be? The authors and speakers have all pulled themselves up by their bootstraps (and the skin of their teeth). They have and continue to change the world!

With so many examples of great leaders, it might seem, by turns, easy or simply impossible. But, what the story demonstrates is that growing influence really is a process, bound up with fits and starts and bogged down by all the idiosyncrasies and foibles inherent in human nature.

We all make mistakes. None of us is perfect, but we continue to improve ourselves, perhaps more resilient and courageous than we dared hope or dream…

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