cover image The Art of Influence: Persuading Others Begins with You

The Art of Influence: Persuading Others Begins with You

Chris Widener, . . Doubleday/Currency, $16.95 (106pp) ISBN 978-0-385-52103-1

Widener (The Angel Inside ) turns conventional wisdom on its ear in this diminutive but powerful tale that argues that business success does not derive from prestigious degrees but from the careful cultivation of personal integrity and a commitment to excellence. The author couches his teachings in an inviting story of Marcus Drake, a brash up-and-comer with a newly minted M.B.A. and lofty career aspirations, who spends a weekend with one of the world's richest and most powerful businessmen, Bobby Gold. Zooming from deal to deal in chauffeured limos and hobnobbing with sports luminaries, the young man is starstruck and intimidated by the entrepreneur's clout and wealth, which he assumes are the result of aggressive deal making and profit-taking. In the course of a few days, however, Drake's eyes are opened to Gold's Four Rules of Influence, which reveal the difference between the “science of business” and the art of true influence. This slim allegory, with its archetypal characters, packs a far greater wallop of wisdom through its spare and modern-day prose than many ponderous and prescriptive business and leadership books do in far more pages. (July)