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Influencer: The Power to Change Anything

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  5,486 ratings  ·  369 reviews
This book comes from the author team that brought you the perennial bestsellers Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations, which have more than one million copies in print worldwide. The authors have made 50 years of social science research accessible to the general reader, and go one step further by codifying exactly what is required to be an influencer in every si ...more
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by McGraw-Hill (first published 2007)
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyCrucial Conversations by Kerry PattersonInfluencer by Kerry PattersonSocial Media for the Executive by Brian E. Boyd Sr.Your Leadership Edge by Ravinder Tulsiani
Top Management Books
3rd out of 140 books — 92 voters
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieGood to Great by James C. CollinsGetting Things Done by David AllenThe Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
The 100 Best Business Books of All Time
114th out of 215 books — 294 voters

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Community Reviews

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The authors of Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations do it again in their third book. Focused on the question "How do I influence people to change their behavior?" this book breaks it down into six categories of action.

Consistent with their earlier works, it is clear and articulate, provides many real-life examples, and draws upon the work and research of others, as well as their own work. The examples are particularly poignant, addressing such diverse topics as the eradication of a p
If you enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point but found yourself wishing it were more applicable to your work, I bet you'll enjoy Influencer as much as I did. Now Patterson, et al., don't tell a story the way Gladwell does, so this book isn't as much fun as one of Gladwell's. But it more than makes up for it in applicability and usefulness ... and the book is filled with enough good anecdotes and humor to make it an enjoyable listen. I hated chapter 1, which was a hard sell of the book's w ...more
Kenny Tang
Boring, lame, boring, and lame... The message it was trying to deliver was positive enough such as use emotional stories, social pressure, focus on specific behaviors, make incentives, and remove obstacles to help influence change. The stories sucked. The flow sucked. This book that emphasizes telling good stories sucked at telling stories!!! There was no use of humor or anything interesting or emotional while using the same stories as other best selling books but made them boring and confusing. ...more
Daniel Taylor
The five-author team who wrote Influencer believe that any problems – any at all – caused by human behaviour can be changed.

The first part of the book puts forth the idea that leadership is influence, and that those who influence are those who create rapid, profound and sustainable behaviour change.

To make changes in behaviour you need to have a clear target you’re working toward and you need to identify the vital behaviours that will create the needed change.

The second part of the book covers t
Toni Daugherty
Every CEO, CFO, COO, parent, teacher, administrator and leader of any kind, should read this book. It has valueable practical information and it is very clearly stated, so you won't be saying, "Wait, what did he say about discipline and rewards beforehand?" Nearly every study in this book has been brought to my attention in another book which makes me think that I read too much in this area, or these studies are old and many authors are drawing conclusions from all the same results. This makes m ...more
Peter Krol
This was a fascinating book on how to change behaviors in a group of people. There were plenty of great ideas here, such as 1) make sure you identify the right behaviors to change, 2) identify current barriers to the desired behaviors, and 3) figure out how to make it both easy and worth it for people to do the right thing.

Although the book focused on "behaviors," it was very clear that the authors had much more in mind. They're not simply seeking to manipulate people into acting a certain way d
I saw Patty gave this 5 stars, so I checked it out. So far it is helping me to motivate myself. Next, the world! Ha ha.
Sarah Hanawald
Just finished this book. The first thing the authors do is question the Serenity Prayer's premise that we have to accept the things we cannot change. Instead, they say we need to learn how to change situations that are intolerable.

I like the way the theory of how to change a situation is interspersed with examples from a wide variety of places. For example, one premise of Influencer is that you have to identify a key vital behavior to change in a situation. In Thailand, when AIDS started spreadi
Simon Ph.D.
As part of a group that's implementing process changes in my current employer, I was excited about the opportunity to get my hands on this book. Having read it, I am slightly disappointed by its message (what can I say, I guess my expectations were different).

For one, I wanted to find some valuable business examples in it that I could apply to my situation. Don't get me wrong, on a conceptual basis the book provided me with a good framework to follow as I instigate change, but when it came down
Cédric Bollag
Positive Aspects

The book helped me increase my awareness of what’s important when dealing with a group of people if you want them to adopt a certain change or behavior. Being the leader in a school project or dealing with coworkers can sometimes be a struggle. Everyone has different opinions and ideas and it’s very hard to create unity to inspire a necessary change. These points improved my understanding of people and how to inspire change among groups.
The “Six sources of influence” are also ver
Influencer by Kerry Patterson was mentioned by upper management this year as a reference for an upcoming change to corporate culture. I was curious to read about it, and understand what to expect in the coming year.

I could not get much out of it, beyond one point: making a real and lasting change requires identifying and changing vital behavior. I carried it with me and forced myself to read it whenever waiting for appointments, for example, but I gave up somewhere between 50-100 dull pages. Th
Bjoern Rochel
I've read the German translation of this book. I'm not sure whether I would recommend this book. There are surely some valuable insights in this book, though they don't seem to stand out as much as the could. Their decision to build the book around stories of successful influencers (probably with the idea of delegate experience in mind) and explain their different influence strategies intermingled with them is probably one of the reasons for that.

Having read 'How to change the world' from Jürge
Useful framework for thinking about effecting change, organized into 3 levels (personal, social, and structural), with two elements at each (motivation and ability).
I was particularly intrigued by the four processes/strategies that "allow individuals to act in ways that are clearly disconnected from their moral compass...: moral justification, dehumanization, minimizing, and displacing responsibility," as I think those are endemic in our institutionalized public school system.
The other point I
This audiobook was a great follow-up to Multipliers. I like the fact that the authors used very clear stories to show how and why someone wanted to influence people to do something specific from ridding the world of a disease caused by a parasite to helping ex-convicts regain their lives. I liked the fact that as different strategies were discussed, the authors returned to stories from earlier chapters to show different aspects of influence.

I liked this book so much I ended up purchasing the sof
This book offers insight into the 'why' behind the significant changes in people's behavior. The authors draw their conclusions from close looks at Dr. Silvert and her Delancey Street Foundation which is credited for changing the behaviors of well over 10,000 repeat felons. They look at the reasons behind the abhorrent behavior of many in the Nazi regime, the efforts being successfully implemented to eradicate the Guinea Worm Disease and why these current efforts have been successful when other ...more
Ron Willoughby
Practical. Insightful. Challenging. Engaging. A book that I will read over and again.
Vicki Davis
This is a must read book for anyone in leadership. It goes on one of my all-time most influential books on my shelf as it uses research to show how you CAN promote change even in very difficult situations. By using real world examples like the guinea worm and dysfunctional hospitals, the research is demonstrated through living examples. Since I've applied the principles in this book, I've become much more effective as a leader.
Influencer seems like a decent overview of broad strategies for influence. I didn't love it, though. It felt too broad to be helpful, and the stories were too pat to feel realistic. Partly I was annoyed that it occasionally felt like an advertisement for Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High (which admittedly is a good book).

The overview of how to build an influence strategy is probably true, but given how broad the examples were, would probably require a ton of effort to
Understanding how to influence people from an individual, social and extrinsic perspective. What does it take to motivate individuals in various situations? Interesting stories. Another great book from the authors of Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations.

An interesting way to look at behavior change. The book gives some interesting paradigms to look at why people do or don't change behavior. The writing is basically like other business guru books but don't let that turn you off.
It has been a while since I have handed out five stars, so I am excited to be writing about Influencer. It isn't that it is a perfect book, but the ideas in this book about how to bring about real changes are 5-star ideas. I was able to think about past successes and failures in organizational change efforts and see why I got the results I did.

While all of the sources of influence are important, I have to say that the idea of structural ability was especially meaningful to me. Is the physical w
Dan Fizesan
I like the fact that things that are inquatifyible and not organized are presented in an structured way, so that you can get a hold of a strategy to learn to change things.

The book is full of side stories to illustrate the point the authors are making, when you read second time, it would be nice if you could skip or just skim those, so different letter type or visual representation would have been nice.

This is the kind of book you have to study a little not just read and also you have to retur
Steph Myers
I really liked this book. I think it is easy to discount it, because the authors have built up quite a business around this and their other book Crucial Conversations. However, the examples are really good and the second half of the book, the six sources of influence, provide excellent takeaways that can be put immediately to use in any environment. Good, solid, practical leadership information. I do feel like Crucial Conversations is kind of a must-read after reading this. Even with all these t ...more
Harry H.
By far one of the best books I have read for improving leadership and influencing skills. The authors give numerous examples throughout the book to support the strategies for influencing. Having taken many other leadership courses, this book blew away any class room leadership course I have taken in a corporate america setting. I may have a bias here because I am passionate about influencing the weight loss industry in a completely new direction, however, with that said - an excellent read for a ...more
Nick Arkesteyn
It is hard to put into words the amount of value that is in this book. It may require a few reads, composition notebook, and a ton of practice to "get" this material. No matter what it takes, it is worth it. These tools can be applied to so many different things. If you are in any line of work that requires talking to people, leading people, helping people, etc. you need to read this book.

I have read their other books and they are great, but this is the best one!!! If you only read one book fro
Wayne McCoy
'Influencer: The Power To Change Anything' gives the reader a set of tools to influence and motivate others. Through a series of tools and stories of how these tools have worked for others, the concepts are reiterated and reinforced.

The illustrations include a prison release program that has a high success rate, and a soap opera that teaches villagers that it's wrong to abuse women. Other illustrations include corporate change and weight loss. With tools like harnessing peer pressure and finding
This book articulates the strategies that the world's most influential people use to solve persistent, resistant problems. The biggest eye-opener for me was the point that verbal persuasion can't solve all the world's problems, especially when you're trying to convince someone to change their behavior. I've always believed in the power of a carefully crafted argument and prided myself on being able to put forth an effective argument for certain things. But this book made me realize that verbal p ...more
Bart Breen
Easy Reading Introduction to the Science of Influence

With so much popular literature in the Business and Personal Development fields, one would imagine that there is little need for yet another book that promotes itself on the "magic" of how to influence people.

What this book brings to the table, however, is less based upon the power of personality and trite formulas presented by someone with name recognition, and more based upon a growing field of knowledge in the Science of Organizational Lead
Omar Halabieh
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "The promise of this book is that almost all the profound, pervasive, and persistent problems we face in our lives, our companies, and our world can be solved. They can be solved because these problems don't require solutions that defy the laws of nature; they require people to act differently. And while it's true that most of us aren't all that skilled at getting ourselves and others to behave differently, there are ex
Sep 25, 2008 Nicole added it
Recommends it for: Managers and anyone who wants to change their own or others' habits
Reminder Notes

1/ Focus on specific behaviours (not outcomes)
2/A few vital behaviours only - eg
- positive deviance (guinea worm example)
- separate the best from the rest (eg successful teachers - lots of praise, repeated assessment)
3/Recovery behaviours

Limitations of reasoned verbal persuasion - stories work better
(eg lectures don't work for removing phobias - effectiveness of vicarious experience). Use stories to change minds - intellectual brevity rarely works - from role of critic (reason) to
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power to change 1 22 Oct 11, 2008 04:23PM  
  • The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion
  • Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
  • Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow
  • Leading Change
  • Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
  • Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time
  • Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
  • Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone
  • Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas
  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance
  • The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Management Fable About Helping Employees Find Fulfillment in Their Work
  • Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion
  • The Leadership Challenge
  • Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done
  • The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance
  • Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box
  • How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In
  • Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change
Kerry is a prolific writer who has coauthored numerous articles and award-winning training programs. Kerry taught at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management and then cofounded Interact Performance Systems, where he worked for ten years as vice president of research and development. Kerry is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial ...more
More about Kerry Patterson...
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success Value Based Fees The Balancing Act: Mastering The Competing Demands Of Leadership

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“The average human being is actually quite bad at predicting what he or she should do in order to be happier, and this inability to predict keeps people from, well, being happier. In fact, psychologist Daniel Gilbert has made a career out of demonstrating that human beings are downright awful at predicting their own likes and dislikes. For example, most research subjects strongly believe that another $30,000 a year in income would make them much happier. And they feel equally strongly that adding a 30-minute walk to their daily routine would be of trivial import. And yet Dr. Gilbert’s research suggests that the added income is far less likely to produce an increase in happiness than the addition of a regular walk.” 4 likes
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