Digital Leading and Learning · Digital Tools in the Classroom · ePortfolio

Effective leadership takes manipulation

Everything about Joseph Grenny’s speech (VitalSmarts Speakers, 2014) hits home for me and really makes me think about my own decision making and how I can become a better leader in and out of my classroom. While this isn’t particularly new information, it is still extremely helpful to see his findings during his experiment. The reason I found it so helpful is that he shows how to use the 6 sources of influence negatively and positively by changing simple motivational and ability strategies. He also does a nice job describing the different effects of personal, social, and structural changes. When I think about this CRAZY election, my own spending tendencies, my classroom, and my students I can see all of these influences at play. Now that I can see the light a little more clearly, I am looking forward to using intentional influence to become a better leader.

Before even really thinking about the six sources of influence for our proposed ePortfolio course, Ryan, Erin, and I determined 3 vital behaviors that involved staff members, the “expert” ePortfolio users, and administration. It just so happens that when looking at the three different categories (Personal, Social, and Structural), these vital behaviors fit perfectly. Our goal is to cover all six sources of influence, but we have determined that the most crucial ones that deserve our primary focus are social motivation and social ability. If we can’t find a way to get others on board with this idea and to address hesitant users as efficiently as possible, our plan has little chance of success. Even with this focus on social influence, we must address every source of influence to include all teachers and administrators to move forward and ultimately help improve our students’ educations.

I guess with all of this I am a little saddened by the fact that good leaders aren’t just genuine people with positive ideas to help others. I understand and appreciate the research and proven factors, but I wish there wasn’t so much manipulation involved in the process. I wish there were less games and tactics…BUT, this is the way people function and I’m interested to see how this approach will affect the implementation of our ePortfolio course.


Grenny, J., Maxfield, D., Shimberg, A. How to 10X Your Influence.VitalSmarts. [eDocument]. Retrieved from on 2016, Jul 27.

VitalSmarts Speakers. (2014, January 8). Joseph Grenny | mastering the skill of influence [Video file]. Retrieved from


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