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4 Books to Maximize Your Influence

You’ve heard us recommend Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People many times. It’s the best place to start if you want in on the value of relationships with others — and how to leverage those relationships to benefit both parties.

The business and academic world has increasingly recognized the importance of influential relationships. Many excellent, recent books have emerged that bring the most recent research related to Carnegie’s principles.

If you care about strengthening relationships and want to maximize your influence, here are four books you should know about:

Give and Take by Adam Grant

Adam Grant is both the highest rated (and youngest tenured) professor at the Wharton business school. This was one of the most talked about business books of 2014 and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

In the book, Grant artfully describes three categories of people: givers, matchers, and takers (most people are matchers). He shows you why you want to be a giver and how to become one.

The books echoes this principle from Carnegie:

"Become genuinely interested in other people."

Drive by Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink has authored multiple New York Times bestselling books on the value of people in business, work, and management — and Drive captures the best research out there on how to motivate people.

In the book, he zeros in on three things that leaders can do in order to fully engage people: provide autonomy, connect people with purpose, and provide opportunities for mastery. If you’re trying to motivate others, it’s a must read.

Pink would certainly agree with this quote from Dale Carnegie:

"The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it."

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

At first glance, a book about checklists sounds utterly boring — and yet it’s one of the most compelling books of the last decade. Also a New York Times bestseller, the Checklist Manifesto shows how to bring process into the workplace in order to get the best from people.

If working with people to navigate complex procedures is part of your work, the principles in this book will provide a framework on how to do it better. Plus, the stories in the book make this a compelling, page-turner (really).

Dale Carnegie said, “Let the other person save face.” Gawande’s book puts a new spin on this: create the right processes, through checklists, that prevent the mistake from happening in the first place.

Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute

This book is masterful at crafting a story that helps leaders get out of their own box so that they begin to recognize their true motivations and serve others better. Almost everyone who reads it finds the story compelling and the call to action immediate in their own work.

Many people are still referencing the book, years later. If you’re looking for the motivation to see things from the other person’s point of view, this is your book.

The Arbinger Institute embodies this Carnegie principle in virtually all their work:

"Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view."

Your Suggestions

What books have you read recently that have provided you with the motivation and action to influence others? View suggestions from other Carnegie Coach readers and add yours too.

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