How to be a Person of Influence


Today I just finished reading this amazing book, How to be like Women of Influence written by Pat and Ruth William with Michael Mink from HCI Books. Before we go any further to all our male readers please stay! Although the book is all about women’s don’t be put down by the title, because the main purpose is to learn how they made a difference, how they influenced their countries, the world and history.

The book is about how these extraordinaire women and how influenced the world and made great contributions to humanity. The authors had chosen 20 of the greatest women that lived on the 19th and 20th century. It was a great read, it’s not a biography, but you get to know a little about the life of these great women’s and how they succeed in their respective fields, how they stayed strong in face of adversity, overcame prejudices and pressed forward the boundaries of race, religion, politics, disability, culture and business to make their own contributions to the world.

Each chapter is dedicated to a woman such as: Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, Anne Frank, Margaret Thatcher, Sandra Day O’Connor, Oprah Winfrey, Golda Meir, Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Marie Curie, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Amelia Earhart, Florence Nightingale, Harriet Beecher, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Mary Kay Ash.

What I liked the most about the book (besides the content),is the way it was written. Each chapter is full of stories, anecdotes, historical facts and curiosities with well chosen quotes.

On the end of each chapter there is a section How to be Like Oprah Winfrey (for example) and it comes with 7 to 16 bullet points of the characteristics and actions that these women’s had that made it possible for them to achieve their goals, with an additional text in each one of them. On top of that on the end of the book there is a section called Book Club Questions for Discussion, which I thought it was really good.

The great lesson is how can we become a person of influence? What the 20 women in this book had in common was:

  • Each one figured out what the prime motivation in their life would be and pursued it with passion.

“Before I was even into my teens…My goal was to be the greatest athlete that ever lived.” Babe Didrikson Zaharias

  • Each one set specific goals related to their passion and worked toward these goals.

“Nothing in life happens. It isn’t enough to believe in something; you have to have stamina to meet obstacles and overcome them,to struggle.” Golda Meir

  • They didn’t just dream; they made things happen.

“It is the individual who can and does make a difference even in this increasingly populous, complex world of ours. The individual can make things happen.” Sandra Day O’Connor

  • They made things happen because they were willing to work hard.

“Happiness…that’s something you can’t achieve by taking the easy way out. Earning happiness means doing good and working, not speculating and being lazy.Laziness may look inviting, but only work gives you true satisfaction.” Anne Frank

  • Each woman had a strong core belief in what she was doing and never gave up on their dreams. They persevered in good and bad times with their focus on their mission.

“If you have a sense of purpose and a sense of direction, I believe people will follow you.” Margaret Thatcher

  • They all had an “I can do” attitude. In their minds there were no limits to what they could achieve.

“Don’t depend on forces outside yourself to get ahead.” Oprah Winfrey

  • These women of influence simply kept focused on their passion, never letting “that’s impossible” become part of their vocabulary.

“The first principle: never to let one’s self be beaten down by persons or by events.” Marie Curie

  • In every single case these women were individuals. They defined who they were and refused to let anyone change that. They were true to themselves.
  • They all realized there was someone or something greater than themselves and they practiced their faith and also felt the need to give back to the world.

“Be a living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” Mother Teresa

  • They were courageous women, and each one ventured into unknown fields and were willing to take the risks necessary to achieve their dreams.

“Decide then whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is stop worrying. To worry is to add another hazard. It retards reactions, makes one unfit.” Amelia Earhart

  • These influential women took responsibility for their own lives. They didn’t blame others or circumstances. They took what life gave them and made the best of it.

“What basic objective I had, for many years, was to grasp every opportunity to live and experience life as deeply, as fully, and as widely as I possibly could. It seemed to me stupid to have a gift of life and not use it to the utmost of one’s ability.” Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Education was very important to all of them. They were all lifelong learners, contributors to society and understood the value of education.

“Books showed me there was possibilities in life, that there were actually people like me living in a world I could not only aspire to but attain. Reading gave me hope. For me it was the open door.” Oprah Winfrey

I highly recommend this book it’s a great read and very inspiring. It makes you think and give more value for the things we take for granted in life. It motivates you to aim for big goals and work hard to achieve them.