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Book:  Influencer

Author:  Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler

Purchase:  Print | eBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R. & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer : the new science of leading change. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Three Big Takeaways:​
  1. Leaders routinely leave out of the step of measuring morale and employee engagement because they think they already have a firm grasp on the results based on anecdotal evidence and gut impressions rather than reliable measures. (pg. 22)

  2. When you invite people to change, they begin to scan you for evidence of credibility. When your behaviors are left open for interpretation, others rarely give you the benefit of the doubt. (pg. 156)

  3. When polled, employees reveal that their number one complaint is that they aren’t recognized for their work.  Each year employees indicate they would appreciate more praise... and each year we do nothing different. (pg. 232)


Other Key Ideas:

Strong leaders are crystal clear about the results they are trying to achieve and are zealous about measuring it.  They know that clear, consistent, and meaningful measures ensure that they’ll actually track their efforts and genuinely hold themselves accountable. (pg. 13)

You can talk about results all you want, but they remain nothing more than ideas until you decide exactly how you are going to measure them. When you’re trying to track morale and employee engagement, such items have to be operationalized into something that you can measure. (pg. 21)​​

Almost any activity can be made engaging if it involves reasonably challenging goals and clear, frequent feedback. (pg. 109)

A 20-year brain surgeon is not likely to be any more skilled than a 5-year rookie by virtue of time on the job.  Any difference between the two would have nothing to do with experience and everything to do with deliberate practice. (pg. 126)

Ability to concentrate is often viewed by students as their most difficult challenge and is usually the limiting factor to deliberate practice.  Most can maintain a heightened level of concentration for only an hour straight, usually during the morning when their minds are fresh. (pg. 128)

No source of influence is more powerful and accessible than the persuasive power of the people who make up our social networks.  None. The ridicule and praise, acceptance and rejections, approval and disapproval of our fellow beings can do more to assist or destroy our change efforts than almost any source. (pg. 146)

Savvy people ensure that people feel praised, emotionally supported, and otherwise encouraged by those around them - every time they enact vital behaviors. (pg. 150)​

Social influence - the deeply felt desire to be accepted, respected, and connected to other human beings - really pulls at the human heartstrings.  It often sits at the top of the heap of all sources of influence. (pg. 183)​​

If you aren’t willing to go to the mat when people violate a core value, that value loses its moral force in the organization. (pg. 244)

Leaders must understand the importance of an accurate data stream and do their best to ensure that their strategies focus on vital behaviors by serving up visible, timely, and accurate information that supports their goals. (pg. 262)

Over the years, Hewlett-Packard has promoted social activities that has cost the company tens of thousands of dollars in food and drink, but many will argue that the benefits that come from informally chatting, collaborating, and synergizing are well worth the investment. (pg. 272)

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