Six Sources of Influence — Source 4 Social Ability

Maggie Sun
5 min readJun 23, 2023

“Under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.” When our friends allow us to tap into their mental capacities, aid us with their physical strength, and entrust us with their many other personal resources, they effectively bestow us with social ability.

Social Ability is the fourth element in the Six Sources of Influence — a framework instituted by the book “Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change.”

Social Ability: provide assistance.

While all vital behaviors are enacted by individuals, the assistance from an enabling group of individuals can make an enormous difference in influencing change.

When to provide assistance to bring about challenging changes?

1. When others are part of the problem:

If bad behavior is reinforced by a group of players, all the players have to be engaged in driving change. For example, the CEO of a media brain trust in South Africa intended to stop domestic violence against women. On a TV…



Maggie Sun

MBA, certified agile coach and experienced strategy analyst, specializing in business agility, agile leadership, Beyond Budgeting, and general management.