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Influencer: The Power to Change Anything

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  8,938 Ratings  ·  482 Reviews
Whether you're a CEO, a parent, or merely a person who wants to make a difference, you probably wish you had more influence with the people in your life. "Influencer" a thought-provoking book that combines the remarkable insights of behavioral scientists and business leaders with the astonishing stories of high-powered influencers from all walks of life. You'll be taught e ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 13th 2007 by McGraw-Hill (first published 2007)
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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
Apr 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Susan by: AMO ELT
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
Toni Daugherty
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I struggled with the first 30 pages of this book as the authors laid some foundational ideas but weren't ready to jump in to the theory of how to become an Influencer. I honestly worried if I was smart enough to read this book, but I had no trouble understanding and relating to the principles once the authors started to break things down.

I took pages of notes and had several ideas for personal applications, but ultimately I felt like I always do at the end of every book I read to help me improve
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Has got to be one of the if not the best change book I have read in a lot time. Some of the examples of people and groups of individuals in the book (delancey street foundation especially) are incredible and very very inspiring. I’m working on a change project at the moment on Artificial Intelligence and have incorporated some of the thinking around opinion leaders into the book. Other interesting parts of the book talked about: vital behaviours, changing the way your mind works, making the unde ...more
Manik Sukoco
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Influencer is a book not to be taken lightly. I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened this book, and I was surprised to find an in depth study of what causes people to truly change their behaviors. Inside the unassuming cover is a through, step by step process for changing behaviors. The text is peppered with real life examples of ordinary individuals who made differences on a large scale, from villages in Africa to banks in India.
The book begins by showing the reader how to find what behavio
Peter Krol
Jun 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
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
Bjoern Rochel
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, kaizen
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
Feb 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Bart Breen
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Cédric Bollag
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, owned
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
Simon Cleveland, PhD
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
David Mullens
Apr 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
The authors cover three keys to influence; Focus and measure, find vital behaviors, and engage the six sources of influence. The bulk of the book, however, focuses on the six sources of influence. They split three areas of influence, personal, social, and structural, into motivation and ability. You end up with six sources of influence; personal motivation, personal ability, social motivation, social ability, structural motivation, and structural ability.

All six sources operate in our organizati
Sarah Hanawald
Mar 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Susan Visser
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
What an incredibly motivating book. The authors start the book off with the serenity prayer and then declare that the prayer is actually giving up on things that we shouldn't. The wimpy way to deal with problems, changes, and pet peeves.

The rest of the book give stories and practical strategies on how we can influence positive changes of significance.

I listened to the book and relistened to a few chapters as I was going along. There are benefits to having a printed copy of the book since it wou
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
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
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Vicki Davis
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
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.
Abilash Amarasekaran
I like the way the authors explained the events they participated and the works of others. They loose cohesiveness in their explanations going back and forth but they do explain the points and practices that we as humans work by or live by and how changing one can affect the others.

I may not be able to grasps all of it in one go but do recommend to read it a few times over.
Mario Tomic
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great book, somehow I didn't find it easy to read but it was definitely worth it. I'd recommend it especially for individuals involved in teaching, training or managing human resources, if you are in any way related to these positions this is the right book for you. As for my myself I'll definitely apply some of these principles with my fitness and health clients.
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.

Dec 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: development
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.
Ron Willoughby
Practical. Insightful. Challenging. Engaging. A book that I will read over and again.
Dec 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A very insightful book from a close neighbor of mine. Loved it!
Omar Halabieh
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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power to change 1 24 Oct 11, 2008 04:23PM  
  • The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion
  • Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas
  • Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change
  • Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box
  • Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing the World for Success and Influence
  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance
  • Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion
  • Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
  • Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
  • The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance
  • The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Management Fable About Helping Employees Find Fulfillment in Their Work
  • Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within
  • Winning from Within: How to Create Lasting Change in Your Leadership and Your Life
  • The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization
  • Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
  • The Myth of Multitasking: How "Doing It All" Gets Nothing Done
  • The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work
  • The Laws of Subtraction: Six Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything
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...
“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.” 12 likes
“It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and THEN do your best. —W. Edwards Deming” 5 likes
More quotes…