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Joe Grenny with Mary Ellen of MarketingMel along with Roan Scholars Lucas Hitechew and Matthew Pencarinha.

Joe Grenny with Mary Ellen of MarketingMel and Roan Scholars Lucas Hitechew and Matthew Pencarinha.

I recently had the good fortune to hear best-selling author Joe Grenny speak on his latest book: Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change. Grenny said that “the most important capacity you possess is the ability to influence behavior- that of yourself or others.” He and his team studied top influencers around the world. He said what makes them stand apart from the rest of us comes down to three things:

1- They start with results. They ask the question: How will I measure success?

2- They look for the vital behaviors- What one or two behaviors will cause the greatest change?  Key influencers only want to change one, two or at most three behaviors.

3- They exert intentional influence- Influencers never see another person as having moral defects, being lazy or self-centered. Instead they see them in a moment of “moral slumber.” “Individual humans are capable of profoundly transforming their experience of almost any behavior by anchoring it to deeply held values,” said Grenny. “Put a face on it.”

He said that we hold meetings to influence behavior and he talked about the power of starting a meeting with this phrase” “Can I share an experience I recently had?”  and then telling a story that creates a vicarious experience for the listeners.

Interestingly he said that if you lead with incentives you undermine because people quickly learn to game the system. Grenny said leaders rehearse and invest in ability first through “deliberate practice.” First- become a teacher- then be a movtivator second. He used this video of a 10 year old girl heading down her first long ski jump.

Now that’s an inspiration! I bought the book Influencer and am already half way through it. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in change and influence. The Executive Briefing on “The New Science of Leading Change” was sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company and ETSU College of Business & Technology.

Follow me on twitter @MarketingMel.

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10 Responses to “Best-Selling Author Joe Grenny Talks about Influencers”

  1. I love the book, Mel. So fun that you got to interview him.

  2. Jessica says:

    I once had a mentor tell me “Listen to everyone like they were giving you diamonds and you will hear great things.” The video was awesome, too!

  3. Thank you for sharing highlights from what must have been a very interesting and inspiring talk. And, I love the reminder to know how to measure your success.

    Love, Katherine

    Katherine C. H. E.
    Author, Be True Rich

  4. Thank you for sharing, Mel. Love the video he used to illustrate his point!

  5. I love meeting and interviewing authors I admire – who fun for you!

    This is a good one to remember: “Key influencers only want to change one, two or at most three behaviors.”

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