Terry R. Bacon: Second Interview, by Bob Morris

Posted on: October 20th, 2011 by bobmorris

Terry R. Bacon

Terry R. Bacon is a Scholar in Residence in the Korn/Ferry Institute.  Previously, he was founder and CEO of Lore International Institute.  He has a B.S. in engineering from West Point and a PhD in literary studies from The American University.  He has also studied business and leadership at Goddard College, Roosevelt University, University of Chicago, Wharton, Stanford, and Harvard.  He is a prolific author and speaker, having written more than one hundred articles, white papers, and books, including Selling to Major AccountsWinning Behavior, The Behavioral Advantage, Adaptive Coaching, Powerful Proposals, What People Want, and The Elements of Power:  Lessons on Leadership and Influence (AMACOM, January 2011). Bacon’s latest book, Elements of Influence: The Art of Getting Others to Follow Your Lead, was also published by AMACOM in July 2011.

He is chairman of the Fort Lewis College Foundation board and president of Music in the Mountains, a summer classical music festival in Durango, Colorado. During the last four years, Leadership Excellence has named him one of the top 100 thinkers on leadership in the world. You can learn more about him and his ideas and works at http://www.terryrbacon.com/http://www.theelementsofpower.com/ or http://www.booksbyterryrbacon.com/.

To read my first interview of Terry, please click here.

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Morris: When and why did you decide to write Elements of Influence?

Bacon:  I have been researching power and influence for more than 20 years.  In 1990, I created the Survey of Influence Effectiveness, a 360-degree assessment of power, influence frequency, and influence effectiveness.  After the instrument was validated, we began collecting data from business people around the world.  Several years ago, I began to analyze the data and found that we had a gold mine of information on how people build their power bases and how they use power to lead and influence others.  Some of the results confirmed my hypotheses about power and influence, but other results were unexpected and gave me some new insights into leadership through influence.

Morris: To what extent is it an extension of Elements of Power?

Bacon:  I began writing them at the same time.  Initially, I had intended to write one book on power and influence, but the more I wrote the more I realized that the subject was bigger than I could reasonably explore in a single book.  I had lunch in New York with my editor, Ellen Kadin, and told her how large the book had become, and she suggested separating the topics and doing two books.  So Elements of Influence is very much an extension of The Elements of Power.  They complement each other very well.

Morris: What differentiates it from Elements of Power?

Bacon:  In The Elements of Power, I describe the eleven sources of power people can have—where that power comes from, how people can become powerful in each of the eleven ways, and how those power sources can become power drains.  Character, for instance, can be a huge source of power for people who are perceived to be moral exemplars, but if they do something unethical or immoral, they can lose that power very quickly.  Eliot Spitzer is a good example of this.  Throughout this book, I also explain how readers can build each of these power sources.  The second book, Elements of Influence, describes how people use their power to lead and influence others.  This book describes the ten ethical influence techniques and the four unethical means of influencing others.  Together, these books provide a complete picture of what enables anyone to make a difference in the world.  The subtitle of the influence book is The Art of Getting Others to Follow Your Lead, and that really captures the essence of both books.

Morris: Were there any head-snapping revelations while writing Elements of Influence?

Bacon:  I had done a substantial amount of research before writing the book, so many of the head-snapping revelations occurred as I was reviewing the research findings.  It was impossible not to be surprised and amazed as I examined those findings in depth and realized that some of my preconceptions about power and influence were wrong and as I learned more about this fascinating topic.  One huge surprise, for instance, was the enormous leverage that expressiveness power has on a person’s effectiveness at leading and influencing others.  Another surprise was how power and influence differed in the 45 cultures I studied.  Of course, I also had some interesting revelations as I wrote the book.  As a writer, I always create a fairly detailed outline of a book before I start writing, but the writing process itself is always one of discovery.  For me, that is one of the joys of writing.  No matter how much I think I know about a subject, I always discover more—and have some intriguing realizations—as I write.

Morris: To what extent (if any) does it differ in final form from what you originally envisioned? Please explain.

Bacon:  As a writer, I do a tremendous amount of up-front work on books, so I know what the books is about, what I’m going to say in each chapter, and essentially how the book will look when it’s finished.  So, once I’d made the decision to write about the power and influence topics in separate books, the final form of those books did not differ substantially from what I had originally envisioned.  However, the content of the chapters evolved as I wrote them because, for me, like other writers, the process of writing is a journey of clarification and discovery.

Morris: What are the most significant differences between your book and others that also examine influence, persuasion, etc?

Bacon:  A number of the books on influence and persuasion are primarily oriented toward marketing, so when those authors speak about influencing people, they often mean influencing consumers or buyers.  Even Robert Cialdini’s classic book, Influence:  The Psychology of Persuasion, emphasizes how influence is used by marketers, peddlers, and salespeople.  In Elements of Influence and the work I’ve done on power, I have focused more broadly on how people influence each other in everyday life:  in business, at home, at school, in the professions, in the arts, and so on.  I’m not as interested in the marketing applications of influence as I am in how people try to influence each other all the time.  Furthermore, as comprehensive as Cialdini is, he doesn’t discuss every influence technique, such as engaging people by consulting them or influencing scores of people by being a role model.  Gandhi, for instance, continues to influence millions of people (who never knew him) by being a role model of non-violent resistance.

Some other books on influence make outlandish claims.  One promises to teach you how to get anyone to do anything.  Another, titled The Science of Influence, claims that you can get anyone to say yes in eight minutes or less.  Books like these are not scientific, and the claims they make don’t just border on the ridiculous, they ARE the ridiculous.  Yes, people learn to become better at influencing, but to get anyone to do anything?  In eight minutes or less?  As I note in my book, if these claims were remotely reasonable, then why is there still conflict in the Middle East?  People are more complicated than these authors imagine, and the claims they make on their book covers are good selling tools—but they’re false.

Morris: You refer to influence as an “art” but also suggest that there are elements of science involved when getting others to take one’s lead – to believe something wants them to think, or do something one wants them to do. Please explain.

Bacon:  The art in influence comes in the ability to read others, intuit how they will respond to different forms of influence, build commonality and rapport with them, observe carefully and adapt as you interact with them.  The science comes in understanding and applying the ten laws of influence, in knowing the different influence techniques and when to use them, and in studying the link between operating styles and influence effectiveness and using the principles gleaned from that study to more effectively influence people with different operating styles.

Morris: For those who have not as yet read the book, what are the “ten laws of influence”?

Bacon:  First, I think it’s important to define influence.  It is the art of getting others to follow your lead—to believe something you want them to believe, think in a way you want them to think, or do something you want them to do.  All of us try to influence others every day.  We try to persuade others to accept our point of view on a political candidate, or we try to get them to buy something or accept the price we’re willing to pay for something they are trying to sell to us.  Whether you are arguing a point, making a proposal, interviewing for a job, or asking for a raise, you are trying to influence people.  And leadership is entirely about influencing other people.  The basic principles of influence are what I call the ten laws, and they are:

1. Influence attempts may fail for many legitimate reasons.  No matter how skilled you are, you won’t be able to influence everyone all the time.

2. Influence is contextual.  People won’t be influenced unless they have the latitude to say yes, unless saying yes is consistent with their interests and values, and unless they have an agreeable disposition.

3. Influence is often a process rather than an event.  You won’t always succeed the first time, but if you persist you may eventually succeed.

4. Influence is cultural.  People in different cultures often respond differently to the same influence technique.

5. Ethical influence is consensual and often bilateral. 

6. Unethical influence may succeed—but always at a cost.

7. People respond best to the influence techniques they use themselves.

8. If you are observant, people will reveal what they find most influential.

9. Influence usually involves a mix of techniques.

10. The more power you have, the more influential you will be.

If you understand these fundamental laws, you will be more influential.

Morris: Which of the ten fundamentals do most people find most difficult to master? Why?

Bacon:  Number 8.  If you watch people carefully and note how they try to influence you or other people, you can discover how best to influence them (and this law is based on law number 7.  A man who tries to influence you by giving you the logical reasons for doing something is likely to respond well to logic himself.  A woman who tries to influence you by citing an authority will probably respond well to legitimizing (an influence technique that works by appealing to authority).  I’ve seen people who know this intuitively, but I’ve also seen others who struggle with it.  They’ll try to use logic, and when logic doesn’t work, they’ll try a different logical argument.  When that doesn’t work (and they become frustrated), they’ll try more logic.  Instead, they should pay attention to what the person they are trying to influence is most responsive to and adapt accordingly.

Morris: Can almost anyone master the skills needed to possess and exert great influence?

Bacon:  Yes, but the first step is to build their power base.  If you don’t have considerable power, you won’t be able to exert great influence.  The next step is to build your influencing skills and then learning to adapt your technique to the person and the situation.  For example, if I want to be capable of influencing a number of people at one time and inspiring them to action, I need to be very good at an influence technique called “appealing to values.”  The power sources that make appealing to values effective are expressiveness (being a superb communicator), character (being considered honest and trustworthy), attraction (having people like me or want to be near me), and reputation (being well regarded in my organization or society).  I also need to be highly skilled at conveying energy and enthusiasm, building rapport and trust with others, listening, appearing self-confident, and using a compelling tone of voice.  Many people can improve their skills in these areas.  The most influential people become masters at them.  Becoming a real master at influencing others may take years, but if they apply themselves everyone can become more influential than they are now.

Morris: How do you distinguish between ethical and unethical influence?

Bacon:  When influence is ethical, the people you are trying to influence have the right and the ability to say no.  With unethical influence, they either can’t say no or don’t realize that they have a choice.  Imagine that I’m a politician and I want your vote.  I can explain to you why I think you should vote for me.  I could ask others to ask you to vote for me.  I could go on television and make an impassioned plea for your vote.  I could sit down with you and ask what you think is important and then promise to vote for those things.  All these techniques are ethical because you can say no without being harmed.  But if I put a gun to your head and tell you that you will vote or me or else, I’m giving you no choice.  Or if I lie to you about what I stand for and that gets me your vote, then it is unethical because I have manipulated you.

Morris: Here’s a follow-up question. Can the same distinctions be made between ethical and unethical power?

Bacon:  Yes, and they are related.  Power that comes from might, for instance, is largely unethical if it is applied through threats or violence to force people to comply with your wishes.  There are exceptions, of course.  Most societies recognize that military might is ethically applied if you are defending yourself from violence or defending others who are incapable of defending themselves.

Morris: Please explain the acronym TOPS.

Bacon:  TOPS is the formula for determining influence effectiveness.  Effectiveness is a factor of the influence technique (T) you use, the strength of your organizational (O) power sources, the strength of your personal (P) power sources, and the skill (S) with which you use the technique.  Effectiveness requires all three:  the right technique, sufficient sources of power, and the skilled use of the technique.

Morris: When is logical persuasion most effective?

Bacon:  Logical persuasion is most effective (a) when you are trying to influence people who think logically and expect a logical argument, (b) when those people are not emotional, (c) when you have facts and evidence to support your argument, and when (d) the people you want to influence are not biased against you or your conclusions and do not have preconceptions that would prevent them from reasonably considering your point of view.  It is also appropriate to use logical persuasion in situations in which the people you are trying to influence expect a logical argument from you:  when you are writing a technical proposal, giving a talk on a technical subject, arguing a case before a court, or writing an academic paper.

Morris: T0 what extent (if any) does logical persuasion have limitations?

Bacon:  The problem with logic is that people are not as logical as they think they are.  We’re not machines and can’t be programmed to think purely in logical ways.  In fact, emotions overlay all of our thinking, and we are driven by biases, longings, prejudices, and judgments that may inhibit us not only from accepting someone’s logical arguments but from hearing those arguments in the first place.  We like to think that we are reasonable and logical creatures, but the reality is that our emotions and preconceptions strongly influence how we listen, how we consider, and how we decide.  So if you are using logical persuasion and your audience is not convinced or seems opposed to your ideas for reasons that don’t seem logical to you, it means that they are not in a frame of mind to accept your logical ideas.  So switch to another influence technique, like appealing to values.

Morris: What is exchanging and when is it most effective when attempting to persuade?

Bacon:  Exchanging is influencing by bartering, negotiating, or trading.  “If you will do this for me, I will do that for you.”  We see this form of influencing all the time in politics and government, where people need to compromise in order to reach a mutually acceptable solution.  Exchanging is a very effective technique when you have something or can do something the other person would value.  It’s also useful when you reach an impasse with someone and there is no other way to reach agreement.  “You can have dessert,” a parent says to a child, “if you eat your vegetables.”  This is an exchange, and it frequently works because the child places high value on the dessert.  “We will not attack you,” says one country’s leader to another country’s leader, “if you return the border lands you took from us during the last war.”  This is another exchange.

Morris: In your opinion, what are the most valuable lessons about influence to be learned from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People?

Bacon:  Carnegie was really a man before his time.  He was among the first to emphasize the importance of interpersonal skills in dealing with other people and to identify what those skills are.  He explained how you can be more influential with people if you treat them with dignity and respect, if you are gracious and kind toward them, if you listen well, and if take time to see things from their perspective and look out for them as well as yourself.  The skills and attitudes Carnegie identified are the skills behind the influence technique I call socializing.  And, by the way, socializing is the second-most-often-used influence technique in the world, as well as second in effectiveness.  It is a very powerful influence tool.

Morris: In my opinion, some of the most valuable in information in the book is provided in Chapter 6, especially what you have to say about the importance of using questions effectively to influence people. Again, for those who have not as yet read the book, please explain the key points about asking the right questions.

Bacon:  Chapter 6 focuses on two of the social approaches to influencing, particularly a technique I call consulting.  When you try to influence someone through consulting you ask them questions instead of stating your opinion or request.  You might say, for example, “How would you go about solving this problem?” or “What do you think is the best way to reach this goal?”  As they answer you, you listen carefully and perhaps ask follow-up questions.  You engage them in the problem solving.  You may already have thought of the suggestions they give you, but that’ okay.  When you engage others in the problem solving, they are contributing to the solution and are more likely to buy into it and support it because, after all, they helped devise it.  Asking people questions and engaging them turns out to be one of the most effective influence techniques around the world.

Morris: What are some of the most effective approaches when attempting to influence by appealing to values and modeling?

Bacon:  Appealing to values and modeling are the two emotional or inspirational influence techniques.  They are the best ones for influencing many people at once.  The key is to connect to what people feel strongly about, what they care about and value.  Instead of using logic (which is an appeal to the head, so to speak), you try to inspire them (which is an appeal to the heart).  You talk to them about what matters to them most and show how what you want is congruent with their values.  Or you act as a role model, behaving in ways they find inspirational or appealing, or acting as a teacher, coach, or mentor to them.

Morris: What are the most valuable lessons to be learned about influence from Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his leadership of Union troops in the 20th Maine division?

Bacon:  Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was one of the heroes of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.  His defense of Little Round Top during the second day of the battle saved the Union army from what could have been a catastrophic defeat.  To achieve this victory, Chamberlain had to persuade 120 mutineers to join his division.  Had those men not joined him, Chamberlain’s 20th Maine would likely have been overrun and the Union cause lost.  To influence those mutineers, Colonel Chamberlain chose to make an inspirational appeal.  The speech he gave them convinced all but a handful to join the cause.  The most valuable lesson from this incident is the power of appealing to values and modeling as influence techniques.  In this case, an inspirational appeal saved the Union army and may have preserved the union itself.

Morris: In your opinion, which great contemporary religious and political leaders offer the best examples of influence people by appealing to values and modeling?

Bacon:  Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election by effectively using an appeal to values.  His message of hope and change won over millions of voters.  As we all know, since then he hasn’t fared so well.  He keeps trying to make inspirational appeals, but his message isn’t resonating in today’s harsh climate of high unemployment and a stagnating economy.  Among his opponents, Ron Paul is probably doing the best job of appealing to values, followed by Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, who are all strong conservative ideologues.  It’s not certain that their appeal will be broad enough to win the majority of votes in the coming presidential election, but they are attempting to influence voters by appealing to conservative values.  Among active religious leaders today, Desmond Tutu is, in my view, one of the most effective.  Pope John Paul II lacks the charisma of John Paul I and so is less effective at appealing to values, although his position gives him the platform to use this technique.  But perhaps the most effective religious leader using this technique today is the Dalai Lama.

Morris: Why did you place the “Influence Effectiveness Self-Assessment” in Chapter 8 rather at the beginning of the book so that readers could complete a self-diagnostic before reading what you have to say about influence?

Bacon:  I felt that readers needed to understand the influence technique framework before completing the self-assessment.  Otherwise, some of the terms in the self-assessment might not be familiar to them, and they might respond to the questions in an uninformed way.

Morris: Someone completes the “Influence Effectiveness Self-Assessment.” Then what? How can they derive the greatest benefit from what it reveals?

Bacon:  First, they should identify where they are most effective at using the ten positive influence techniques.  The top two or three techniques would constitute their “influence style,” the way they typically try to influence other people.  They are most comfortable using these two or three techniques.  It’s important to know this because a person’s preferred style will not be the most effective approach to some influence situations.  If you are aware of that ahead of time, you can change your strategy.  Second, they should identify their weakest influence techniques and explore how they can become more effective at using those techniques.

Morris: You identify what you characterize as “four common negative or unethical influence techniques.” Here’s a two-part question: What are they? and How best to resist each?

Bacon:  Avoiding is forcing others to act, sometimes against their interests, by avoiding responsibility or conflict or behaving passive-aggressively.  The best way to resist someone who is using avoiding on you is to be aware that it is happening and not allow them to get away with it.  You do that by calmly and subtly pressing the issue.

Manipulating is influencing through lies, deceit, hoaxes, swindles, and cons.  Manipulators disguise their real intentions or intentionally withhold information that others need to make the right decision.  The best way to resist manipulation is to avoid being too trusting.  We can often tell when we’re being manipulated because what the person is offering or saying is too good to be true, or they are trying hard to be too convincing.  Manipulation often comes from people we don’t know or don’t know very well, but Bernie Madoff targeted people who knew him and thought he was trustworthy.  He even targeted family members.  He proved the point that there is no honor among thieves.  So the best defense against manipulation is to not allow yourself to be misled, which means being sensibly cautious about what people tell you or promise you.

Intimidating is influencing by imposing oneself on others or by forcing people to comply by being loud, overbearing, abrasive, arrogant, aloof, or insensitive.  This is the technique of bullies.  Defending yourself against bullies is primarily about refusing to be intimidated, standing up to the bully, and asserting yourself appropriately.  The bully will try to overwhelm you; stand your ground.  The bully will be insensitive or overbearing; call him on it.  The bully will come at you with superior strength; find allies to back you up.

Threatening is harming others or threatening to harm them if they do not comply or making examples of some people so that others know that the threats are real.  The best defense against threats is to render them harmless or reduce the severity of the consequences, which is difficult to do in some cases.  You can try talking to the aggressor and reasoning with him or her, but this often does not succeed.  Or you can find allies to help aid in your defense.

Morris: How and why do people use avoiding to influence by indirection?

Bacon:  People typically use avoiding when they don’t want to accept the responsibility (or blame) for something or when they want to avoid conflict.

Morris: In your opinion, what are the most valuable lessons to be learned from what you characterize as “The Bernie Madoff Magic Show”?

Bacon:  Con artists like Bernie Madoff are magicians.  They create illusions so compelling that people willingly suspend their disbelief.  The consistent 10% returns Madoff promised (and continually reported) were far outside the realm of reasonable possibility, but the people and institutions who invested with him wanted very much to believe it was true.  Moreover, they felt special because Madoff told them he was selective; he didn’t accept just anyone as a client.  That combination of feeling elite and having returns on their investments that no one else could achieve caused people to overlook the warning signs.  They believed Bernie because they had an overwhelming desire to believe it was all true.

The simplest lesson from Madoff is the old adage that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.  We need to beware of people whose claims and promises paint a rosier picture than normal reality.  And many of these people are not slick-talking hucksters.  Many are grandfatherly types like Bernie Madoff, people with solid credentials (Madoff was once head of NASDAQ) and a track record of success.  The easiest manipulators to spot are the unskilled ones.  Skilled magicians like Bernie Madoff can be tough to identify because they wear a mask of normalcy.  They know how to inspire confidence and trust.

Morris: What are some of the most common misconceptions about manipulation and what, in fact, is true?

Bacon:  The biggest misconception is that manipulation is rare and only “bad” people do it.  In fact, manipulation is very common, and we all practice it to some extent.  We admire manipulation when our side uses it to deceive our enemies.  We admire it in movies when the good guys outsmart the bad guys and in cartoons when the Road Runner pulls a fast one on Wile E. Coyote.  Deception in various forms (advertising, cosmetics, theatre) is so common in human society that it’s virtually a way of life.  Nonetheless, there are types of manipulation (where the victim harmed in a material way) that we agree are unethical and illegal.

Morris: How best to defend one’s self against manipulation?

Bacon:  Be aware and be sensibly cautious.  Trust others but don’t be naively trusting.  And if you start to become excited because someone’s offering you a sweet deal that most other people won’t get—be skeptical, be very skeptical, because you may be in the presence of a magician.

Morris: You selected the title of chapter 12, “Making an Offer They Can’t Refuse,” because in the novel and film, The Godfather, in which Don Vito Corleone uses the threat of death and the presence of Luca Brasi to influence decisions. Here’s my question: How best to respond when feeling intimidated by a direct or indirect threat?

Bacon:  Feeling intimidated is a state of mind.  You can overcome it in many cases by being aware that you feel intimidated, asking yourself why you feel intimidated, and then consciously choosing not to be.  Joseph Kenney Sr., JFK’s father, said that when he was first starting in business he felt intimidated by the older businessmen he was trying to deal with.  He overcame it, when he met with them, by imagining that they were all sitting there in their underwear.  The point is that the people you find intimidating are human, just like you.

Self-confidence and an appropriate level of assertiveness are your primary tools for defending yourself against intimidation and indirect threats.  I know that self-confidence is a challenge for many people.  For them, my advice may be easier for me to give than for them to take.  Nonetheless, there is no substitute for self-confidence and effective assertiveness.  I would never advise people to become aggressive and bullish themselves.  I believe the keys are to be gracious and kind—but also clear and firm.  You need to set boundaries on what is permissible and what isn’t.  Then when someone crosses the line, be firm and clear about your refusal to allow them to do that.

Morris: You compare power in people with power in batteries. Please explain.

Bacon:  Batteries are classified by the amount of voltage they deliver.  Voltage is a measure of a battery’s electromotive force or its potential to do work.  A 10-volt battery can do 10 volts worth of work.  A 100-volt battery has ten times that potential.  It can do substantially more work than its 10-volt cousin.  Power in people is like that, too.  Imagine someone who is relatively powerless:  an uneducated and unskilled homeless person who doesn’t know anyone, doesn’t have a job, has few resources, and is unknown in the communities he is passing through.  This person has very little power, will not be able to influence many others, and would have very little leadership effectiveness.  Compare him to a person who is highly educated and skilled, knows many people, has a good job, has lots of resources, and is well-respected in her community.  She has far more potential to influence others and be effective as a leader.  Compared to the homeless man’s 10-volt battery, she has a 100-volt battery.  I think it’s a useful metaphor for thinking about the power differences in people.

Morris: In your opinion, what is the single greatest source of power in people?

Bacon:  Hands down, the single greatest source of power is will, which I define as a person’s desire to be powerful coupled with the courage to act.  Desire alone is often just a dream, and dreamers are not necessarily powerful.  They have to act on their dreams.  They have to persevere when it’s not easy.  They have to overcome obstacles and resistance and meet all their challenges.  When they have strong enough will power to do that, they can become extraordinarily powerful.  In fact, the research shows that people with high will power are as much as ten times more powerful than people with average will power.

Morris: In organizations?

Bacon:  The most powerful people in organizations are, first of all, those whose positions give them the legitimate authority to make decisions and command people and other resources.  So the CEO of an organization will obviously have more power than mail clerks.  I call this role power.  Beyond role power, the greatest sources of organizational power are the strength and size of a person’s network and the strength of his or her reputation.  Being well-regarded can be a huge source of organizational power.  People rated high on reputation power are three times more powerful than those with average reputations, and in business reputation is built largely on your ability to achieve outstanding results in whatever job you are doing.

Morris: What is the single most under-utilized source of power that could, perhaps, be the most powerful source of all?

Bacon:  Again, it would be will power.  I think many people have the capacity to become more powerful simply by exercising their will be more powerful, which takes both desire and courage.  However, if you had asked what two sources are most underdeveloped and have high potential, I would add expressiveness.  This power source is the ability to communicate well.  People who express themselves eloquently and powerfully are considerably more influential than those who don’t.

Morris: How best to develop it?

Bacon:  Will power is a matter of desire and courage, and those are character traits rather than skills.  Can you develop them?  Yes, if you have a strong enough desire to do so.  There is ample evidence in human history of people who developed the desire and courage to act—often in the face of turmoil, injustice, or personal tragedy.

Expressiveness is both a gift and a skill that you can develop through study and practice.  Toastmasters is a great forum for developing your speaking ability.  Reading, writing, and communicating as often as you can are tools you can use to develop your expressiveness.

Morris:  Which question had you hoped to be asked during this second interview – but weren’t – and what is your response to it?

Bacon:  You might have asked me more about cultural differences in power and influence, but that would have taken a lot of time for me to answer.  There are cultural differences, and I describe many of them at my blog and web site:  www.theelementsofpower.com.  In my research, I studied the differences in power and influence in 45 countries, and the results are summarized at this web site.  From time to time, I also post new articles on power and influence at this site.

 

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