Book Review — Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change

Available at Amazon.

A lot of the time when you want to change something, you’re in control of all of the variables that are required for the change. The big challenges in life, are usually outside of your direct control and if you want to have an impact, you’ll need to enlist the help of others.

Note: This book is not about persuading people to do things against their will or about manipulating people; it is about promoting a change of behavior in others for the betterment of the community, city, and beyond.

If you want to become influential, you need to be prepared to make influencing a full time job. For one thing, to be a good influencer you need to arm yourself with pertinent, current, and accurate data. This helps you know what you’re really up against so that you tackle the right problem. This data also helps you measure the impact you are making. In many cases, just publishing the data, can go a long way in influencing people. For example, if you care about quality, you need to get your hands on data about defects and the impacts of those defects. If you care about the impact of your products, you need to measure the impact. Otherwise you could be leading those you are trying to influence on a wild goose chase.

Once you have the initial data, you can start trying to identify vital behaviors people exhibit that impact the thing your trying to influence. Don’t focus on twenty behaviors. If you can find two or three vital behaviors, changing them will have a powerful impact.

Once you have identified several key behaviors, you can start working to change them. “Influencers” discusses six ways of influencing people that will promote the change in behavior you desire. The book states that for big challenges, it’s rarely enough to just use one of the ways of influencing people. It states that an effective influencer will use most, if not all, of the six sources of influences to make the desired outcome more likely. By bringing so many influences to bear against the challenge, you greatly increase the odds that you and those you are enlisting for help will overcome the challenge.

I was encouraged to see that the book discusses the current findings about incentives and does a good job of cautioning against ineffective means of incentivizing people.

“Influencers” has so many inspirational and heart warming stories of people who have tried to make their part of the world a better place. From trying to rid the world of a terrible parasite, to trying to help lifelong criminals become productive members of society, to helping families pull themselves out of poverty. I found the book to be fascinating, moving, informative, and inspiring.

If you can solve all of your problems by yourself, this book is not for you. If you are facing problems that require the help of others, I would definitely recommend checking this book out.

Thank you for reading this!