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John Maxwell and Jim Dornan: Becoming a Person of Influence


John Maxwell and Jim Dornan, Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 214 pages.

In one of his latest of a growing list of writings, John Maxwell, pastor, conference speaker, and leadership mentor teams up with businessman Jim Dornan to write, Becoming a Person of Influence. This is a book about leadership, and the title bears the heart of what the writers claim leadership is all about: influence.

This book is not directly spiritually oriented or for that matter overtly biblically referenced in its approach to the subject of leadership. Nevertheless the model and ideas presented are generally rooted in Christian concepts. The result is a very practical and positive display of leadership thinking, that combines the personal experience of the authors with a plethora of examples from mostly famous individuals, encasing them in a simple, well-defined strategy for influence.

Maxwell and Dornan established a basic 4-step progressive model for influence consisting of: 1) modeling, 2) motivating, 3) mentoring, and 4) multiplying. Each of the steps involves certain qualities that round out the concept and provide the catalyst for advancement. It is in these qualities that one can see the Christ-character content. In paging through the chapter on faith the most obvious of such character is expressed. Also developed are qualities of integrity, nurture, understanding, and listening, etc. These qualities are then presented through the 4-step model in a specific sequence so as to spell out the acronym INFLUENCER.

One could regard the efforts of the authors as just another in a growing library of books on leadership technique. And while it is that, the practical and easy to remember models and qualities provide a great base by which one can commit the teaching to remembrance. Mixing this in with humor, passion, and the experiences of people we all know of, Becoming a Person of Influence is a valuable tool for everyone from hopeful novice to seasoned leader. It is a useful aid in developing a positive influence in the corporate arena or the everyday home life, and so enable others to be all God intended them to be.

Reviewed by Ronald Messelink


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Category: Ministry, Summer 1999

About the Author: Ron Messelink left the business world in 1992 to pursue a call to ministry. A graduate of Grace School of Ministry, he founded Grace Life Church where he ministered for 17 years. Ron's passion is for people to know and experience the reality for Christ in you, the hope of glory. Ron currently teaches believers and churches through Ron Messelink Ministries. He is working on several books and developing a discipleship tool to help people connect and grow in the gospel of grace. Ron and his wife Joy make their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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