LISTEN: Persuasion: How Character Determines Influence, Part 1 (Strategic Christian Leadership #47 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Strategic Christian Leadership Bible verse for this episode is Ezra 7:10 which says, “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

Our Strategic Christian Leadership quote for this episode is from Aristotle. He said, “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of these books from our website

Our topic today is part 1 of Chapter 8: “Persuasion: How Character Determines Influence” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

THERE IS PERHAPS SOMETHING ODD OR EVEN unseemly in writing a chapter on the way humility influences others. Isn’t humility essentially about serving the interests of others? Why would you “use” humility to get your way with someone?

That’s a fair question, and I have two responses. First, influence is not bad in itself. If I sincerely believe that an individual or organization is best served by moving in a new direction, influencing becomes an instrument of care. Parents influence their kids for their good. Close friends influence each other to protect them from potential mistakes. Military commanders influence their men in order to keep them out of harm’s way. Second, whether or not we think that influencing others contradicts humility, it is a simple observational reality that the humble are frequently more persuasive and inspiring than the arrogant. It is just a weird reality, as I hope to show, that humility does influence.

— How Leadership Works (Again)

Fundamental to influence is persuasion, and, as I argued in chapter 2, persuasion is at the core of leadership. I noted earlier that there are four tools of leadership. First is simple ability. Good leaders have nearly always excelled in some particular area before their move into general leadership. Football coaches were usually decent players in a former life. Business executives typically had success in one or another department of a firm. Senior pastors nearly always started kicking goals in youth work or pastoral care. Ability matters.

The second (and least useful) tool is structural authority, that is, the powers given to the leader by the organization—the power to hire and fire, the power to spend money, and so on. Since authority is not inherent but derived, good leaders know to use structural power sparingly.

The third and fourth tools of leadership I offered earlier are intimately related. Example is the leader’s embodiment of integrity and authenticity. Without a life example that speaks louder than words, even the most persuasive leader will fail. People may be moved by insightful and well-crafted words, but they quickly lose confidence in the persuader if it becomes apparent that “She’s all talk!” Finally, persuasion is the leader’s ability to articulate and argue a position in a way that motivates others in the team to move in the new direction. A leader with example but with no ability to persuade others will be well loved but unable to lift people beyond the circumstances they can see around them. Persuasion is key.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue this topic in our next podcast.



If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.