When was the last time you thought about how you influence others - how you change minds, shape opinions, move others to act? Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager said, "The key to leadership is influence, not authority." That's why it's important to have influencing skills as part of your professional portfolio. To be an effective leader, it is necessary to influence others to support and implement decisions that are crucial for your team, department, business unit or company's success. Even with a solid foundation of credibility and competence you, as a manager, may fall short if you don't understand the dynamics of power, politics and influence.