Historically, the nature of influence and persuasion has dramatically evolved over the last one hundred and fifty years. Gone are the days when a leader stood before a crowd and simply bellowed in order to communicate with those he wished to influence. Today influence has never been easier to engage in, given the spectrum of communication devices available for use.

We are living in a transformative age where change and influence can emerge from unlikely sources. A posting on You Tube, Twitter or Facebook can rapidly become world news and change people’s lives.

The harnessing of the Internet as a significant tool for communication and influence is something leaders need to develop a strategy about. While some dismiss the power of blogs and emails to influence others, such an attitude is too dismissive.

The power of an idea, the power of images and the power of a story, along with the wrap-around coating of inspiration, these are still the fundamentals of influence in today’s world.

While people in the Middle Ages thought influence emanated from the stars in the form of a magic liquid to influence human behaviour, we now have a rather different understanding of what skills and talents are needed to touch the minds and hearts of people we might be seeking to influence or persuade. 21st century technology can be a great gift in the hands of inspirational leaders. We ought to be bold in using its various manifestations.

Patrick J. Lynch