‘Influencers’ Book review part 1

Influencers is a great book, one I think that everyone should read.  Most business books have 10% of useful advice. And while Influencers has some great stories and advice, I feel like much of the advice has been written about about somewhere else.

That being said, there are a few kernels of advice that I’m mulling over as I read the book.

Seek out both formal and opinion leaders

The best way to influence an organization, especially a tribal organization, is not necessarily to use the formal leadership. The best influencers know to seek out people embedded within the organization who have a ton of credibility with their co-workers. We all know people like this. As many times as not they are formal leaders. Often they are an individual contributor who others in the organization respect.

To build credibility, sacrifice your time

My first assignment on my recent UX position was to create a tee-shirt for a new team to help build espirit du corps. Other UX designers thought I was crazy to spend so much time on the tee-shirt. I even started to resent it after a while. But as a result of that work, I built up a ton of credibility with the team, without even doing the job I was hired to do. Because of that sacrifice, I was able to quickly build rapport with the team. I’m glad I did it, and I would definitely do it again.

Hold people accountable – to the correct standards

Talk about things that no one is supposed to talk about. Celebrate correct behavior, and work with opinion leaders to create a culture which corrects poor, sub-quality or incorrect behavior.

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