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Influencer: The Power to Change Anything Hardcover – September 13, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007148499X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071484992
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (390 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Far and away one of the best business books of the year.” (Hamilton Spectator)

From the Back Cover

Here's what some of the world's most influential people are saying about Influencer.

“AN INSTANT CLASSIC! Whether you're leading change or changing your life, this book delivers.”
-Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“Ideas can change the world-but only when coupled with influence-the ability to change hearts, minds and behavior. This book provides a practical approach to lead change and empower us all to make a difference or a change in society.”
-Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

“Influencing human behavior is one of the most difficult challenges faced by leaders. This book provides powerful insight into how to make behavior change that will last.”
-Sidney Taurel, chairman & chief executive officer, Eli Lilly and Company

“If you are truly motivated to make productive changes in your life, don't put down this book until you reach the last page. Whether dealing with a recalcitrant teen, doggedly resistant co-workers, or a personal frustration that 'no one ever wants to hear my view,' Influencer can help guide in making the changes that put you in the driver's seat.”
-Deborah Norville, anchor of “Inside Edition” and bestselling author


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Customer Reviews

I found the example stories to provide practical illustrations of the concepts that the authors hoped to communicate.
Robert W. Smith
By the time you're finished you will understand how to use the principles of influence to change your life and help others make positive changes in theirs.
Harold McFarland
Even though this book is about business, it was actually very easy to read and kept my interest by making points that I found personally useful in my life.
K. Fritz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

197 of 206 people found the following review helpful By G. Davis on September 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The principles in this book have the potential to change the world - by changing behaviors of individuals, families, communities and nations.

The authors teach us how to create the change we'd like to see in the world using a deceptively simple framework (e.g. "Make the Undesirable Desirable" and "Design Rewards and Demand Accountability"). Many of the concepts are intuitive - the problem is that I had never intuited them before, much less put them all together in a framework I could act on. They support the framework with sound theory from behavioral psychology and demonstrate it with real-world examples of people who are solving big, important problems. Throughout it all they use a straight-forward conversational style and a great sense of humor.

But be warned: It's not a self-help, positive-mental-attitude, quick-fix, rah! rah! book, and it's not a fast, easy read - it's not supposed to be. The book deals with powerful concepts and it took me some time to think through the implications and how I could apply them. I re-read some chapters several times and spent time writing out how I could apply the principles (I usually do this in the margins - but with Influencer I ended up using a journal since there was so much to write about).

It's well worth the time and effort - I'm excited by the results I'm seeing personally as I apply the concepts in my roles as a father, husband, church leader and business leader.
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121 of 125 people found the following review helpful By James John Hollandsworth, M.D. VINE VOICE on August 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When Stephen Covey labeled this new book "an instant classic," I knew it was a must-read for me.

But I was floored at how brilliant this book really is.

Many books deal with some aspect or particular technique of change in people. Influencer is radically different: it presents a complete structural blueprint of the science of change, and takes you step by step through the critical factors behind change and how to apply them to any problem.

Instead of endless dry facts or empty clichés, Influencer breaks down its major points chapter by chapter, illustrating them with a detailed analysis of several real-world case studies of seemingly insurmountable change problems, including Delancy, a rehab center for hard-core criminal drug addicts which has an astonishing success rate of over 90%. Interspersed are personal and family case studies, research, and history all engagingly written in a well-organized, coherent style. At the end of each chapter is a summary of key concepts covered.

Influencer immediately helped me understand both my own thinking processes toward change and those of others, and jump-started good ideas for both my personal growth and solving several business issues. Influencer is by far the most original and useful book I have read this year. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The main thesis of this book is fascinating to contemplate. In essence, it is that nearly all ways used to try to get people to change serious and deeply ingrained behavior such as overeating, drug use, smoking and repeated criminal acts are at best pointless and in many cases counterproductive. You learn of examples of organizations that have found ways to cure people of these behaviors where the methods are really not that complicated. No massive amounts of money are expended, no high political rhetoric and no great national political mission is cited as a motive.
The examples are interesting and include:

*) The international effort to eliminate the guinea worm parasite, a terrible disease where people ingest the larva of the worm. Once the worm reaches adulthood, it literally bores its way out of the body and deposits its eggs.
*) The effort to get sex workers in Thailand to insist that their clients wear condoms during sex, thereby preventing millions of new cases of HIV infection.
*) The effort to get hospitals to recognize that approximately 100,000 people die in the United States each year in diseases caused in part by their hospital stay. Once the problem was recognized, take realistic and effective steps to prevent them.
*) An organization in San Francisco with an amazing record of turning people with extensive criminal records and a history of drug use into productive and valuable citizens.

In reading this book, you are struck with how simple these solutions are. It is also clear why so many government programs such as "the war on drugs" are so ineffective. They are efforts based on the political flavor of the moment and few in power seem willing to consider counterintuitive solutions that involve political risk.
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89 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on September 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After teaching readers how to have "crucial conversations" to share ideas, resolve conflicts, and promote change, our five authors begin "Influencer" by turning that idea around. Talking, they remind us, often is not the best way to convince people to abandon old behaviors and start doing things differently, and can in fact be counterproductive if people start to resist or resent the idea you want to change them. It's sort of self-evident when you put it that way ... but on the other hand, once rational argument, hectoring, and pleading have failed, many of us feel disarmed. If you can't "talk them into it," what's left to try?

Given the title and subtitle, you could think "Influencer" is Dale Carnegie for a new generation. But it's actually quite a lot more than that. "The power to change anything" the authors describe is not a "These aren't the droids you're looking for" Jedi mind trick. Nor will you have everything you need to achieve your goals as soon as you finish reading. These are tools for promoting Big Ideas -- the examples the authors give include eliminating the ghastly guinea worm, promoting condom use in Thailand's sex trade, and turning around the lives of thousands of hardened gang members -- and so the first impression that the reader will take away from this is that changing minds and hearts requires hard work and commitment on both sides of the equation.

The authors argue that changing ingrained behavior requires people to answer two questions: "Can I make the change?" and "Is it worth the effort?" "Influencer" draws from psychology, organizational theory, history, sociology, and other disciplines to isolate the key motives that drive behavior. Armed with that information, they say, influencers have the lever they need to move mountains.
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