About Influencing Powerful People

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Here are a few “thought posts” created by one of our long term CFFB board members, Rick Baker.  On April 26th, we hold our Signature event of the year, “Influencing Powerful People”, a keynote by Dirk Schlimm.

Over the next few weeks, we will pull key insights or quotes from the book and share Ricks thoughts and insights related to the quote.  Stay tuned!

About Influencing Powerful People #1

I learned that influencing powerful people is a better and more effective route than complaining about them.

This quote touches two important Spirited Leaders’ philosophies –

Constructive Criticism is an Oxymoron


Influence is the Essence of Leadership.

About Influencing Powerful People – #2

Here’s a quote from Dirk Schlimm, clarifying his perspective on ‘Powerful People’ –

“Depending on where you are, the managing director of your local subsidiary, the head of your finance department, the influential member of your board, the critical donor in your charity, or the owner of your small business may be just as powerful in your setting as a corporate tycoon in someone else’s.”

One implication for family businesses –

The leader of your family business may be just as powerful in your setting as a corporate tycoon in someone else’s. 


About Influencing Powerful People – #3

Talking About Influencing Powerful People – here’s another Dirk Schlimm quote:

“What makes these geniuses so powerful is not ground-level expertise or vision. It is the fact that they have both; they are equally capable of and comfortable with micromanaging and dreaming up a large-scale, big-picture vision.”


About Influencing Powerful People – #4

Here’s another quote from Dirk Schlimm:

“The genius, who sees opportunity with outside-the-box ideas, gets easily frustrated if he or she feels surrounded by others who only see obstacles. A powerful person with a big idea is likely to feel that he or she is right and will grow impatient with naysayers.”

This quote triggers some questions…

  • Do you know many people who think of themselves as innovative/creative thinkers?
  • Do you know people who consider themselves out-of-the-box thinkers while you see them under dimmer lighting?
  • Do you know many people who get frustrated when other people inject obstacles?
  • How do you feel when others nay-say when you raise what you believe to be good ideas?

Spirited Leaders have a philosophy that can be summed up in 5 words: People do not like receiving criticism . We also say “Constructive criticism is an oxymoron”.

Now, we know some thick-skinned people can accept and respond well to criticism…for these rare few, constructive criticism is not an oxymoron. However, implicit in Dirk’s quote, it is highly unlikely people who possess and exhibit a level of genius – powerful people – will respond well to nay-saying. So, when you find yourself facing such a powerful person consider better strategies than voicing criticism that will likely be received poorly.

If you must voice criticism then plan its delivery carefully.

Dirk will explain how this can be done at our CFFB Signature event of the year, “Influencing Powerful People” coming up April 26th.  You do not want to miss out, so please register early!


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